AIB Participates in Historic Mental Health Project

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The Reducing Disparities Project’s mission is to assess the mental wellness needs of LGBT communities across the state of California and make even better assistance available. The Project is funded by a two-year, $444,000 grant from the California Department of Mental Health to the California LGBT Health and Human Services Network. The project’s ultimate goal is to change mental health services in California.

This historic grant will fund a first ever statewide assessment of the mental health needs of LGBT communities. For the first time, meaningful data on how to better assist California’s LGBT population is being gathered. For the first time, healthcare providers, LGBT people and organizations are being brought together to set priorities for our communities’ mental wellness needs.

The Strategic Work Group includes respected health care professionals, community leaders and advocates who help to guide the Project’s strategy:  Link to the LGBTQ Reducing Disparities Project Strategic Planning Workgroup.

The study will collect statewide data on the harm caused by discrimination, examining such issues as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, substance abuse and suicide. It will identify the best ways to prevent and treat mental health issues in the LGBT community.

“This grant will literally change the face of mental health services in California and be a model for the rest of the nation,” said Daniel Gould, EQCAI’s Health and Human Services Network Coordinator. “The work we do will guide LGBT organizations, practitioners and policy makers in designing and implementing effective programs and policies that better address our community’s mental health needs.”

The Community Survey is ready for dissemination.

To take the survey COPY AND PASTE this URL into your browser:   Link to the Community Survey

This survey is for anyone whose sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression may not fit the expectations of society, their friends or families.  It is also for parents/guardians of LGBTQ individuals. A survey for providers is currently being created.

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About Author

Denise Penn

Denise Penn is a Southern California-based journalist who has covered issues for the LGBT and HIV-affected community for nearly two decades. While an investigative reporter for the Blade Newsmagazine, her coverage of hate crimes became part of Congressional records. She served as News Editor for the Lesbian News and has contributed to In Los Angeles Magazine, EDGE, and many others. She is also a clinical social worker and brings that perspective to her articles. She produced and hosted an award-winning community television program in Long Beach, California for 12 years.

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