Improving Care for LGBTQ+ Communities
The Center of Excellence on LGBTQ+ Behavioral Health Equity provides behavioral health practitioners with vital information on supporting the population of people identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, two-spirit, and other diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions.
Through training, coaching, and technical assistance we are implementing change strategies within mental health and substance use disorder treatment systems to address disparities effecting LGBTQ+ people across all stages of life.
Current disparities and disproportionalities data on LGBTQ+ communities highlight the importance of more tailored and culturally responsive substance use and mental health services throughout the lifespan. This data has shown that LGBTQ+ populations of all ages disproportionately experience more instances of mental health and substance use disorders, suicidality, and poor wellbeing outcomes compared to their heterosexual and cisgender peers. Intersectionality is an important consideration when serving LGBTQ+ populations, considering age as well as race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, and ability.
Behavioral health disparities experienced by LGBTQ+ populations can be attributed to
- Minority Stress; increased stress caused by pervasive rejection, discrimination, and stigma
- Verbal, emotional, or physical abuse from unsupportive family members and communities
- Discrimination in health care, employment, housing, and retirement
- Unremitted bullying in school
- Absence of social programs specializing in LGBTQ+ services
- A shortage of health care providers who are knowledgeable about LGBTQ+-specific needs
Addressing behavioral health disparities among LGBTQ+ communities
This Center of Excellence, funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, is designed to support the implementation of change strategies within mental health and substance use disorder treatment systems to address disparities impacting the LGBTQ+ community.
What We offer
We host webinars on effectively addressing disparities and bias within mental health and substance use disorder treatment systems.
We offer tailored technical assistance (time limited) and monthly office hours.
We provide up-to-date information and education related to the provision of evidence-based mental health and substance use disorder treatment to the LGBTQ+ community with an emphasis on engaging and retaining individuals in care.
We disseminate comprehensive resources and training modules for system administrators and leadership to ensure organizations are welcoming and inclusive to the LGBTQ+ community.
Who We Are
This Center for Excellence is led by the Institute for Innovation and Implementation at the University of Maryland School of Social Work and is a partnership with Affirmative Research and Judge Baker Children’s Center, Harvard Medical School.
The Work of this Center relies on:
Join Our Webinar Series!
Twice a month, this Center of Excellence hosts webinars for health practitioners focused on best and latest practices to decrease behavioral health disparities impacting LGBTQ+ children, youth, young adults, adults, and older adults.
Ask Our Experts!
Our monthly Ask Our Expert virtual sessions connect practitioners with experts from across the country who provide technical assistance on a variety of subjects.
Helping LGBTQ+ Clients Navigate Holidays & Family Gatherings
November 2, 3-4 p.m. ET