By: Amanda Wallner, MPP
and Poshi Walker, MSW
This fall, the California LGBT Health and Human Services Network and NorCal Mental Health America are partnering to launch a statewide education, outreach, and advocacy initiative targeting LGBTQ mental health disparities.Out for Mental Health will engage LGBTQ people throughout California to develop a mental health equity agenda and offer the tools and resources to make our shared goals a reality.
We want to learn from you about the mental health needs in your communities. Do you feel comfortable talking about mental health? Do you worry about a lack of access to LGBTQ-affirming providers? Or that your providers won’t understand or know to talk to you about your sexual orientation or gender identity? How can we increase access to services and strategies that work for LGBTQ people in your communities?
Through a variety of processes, we hope to hear from you to help answer these questions and to give advocates and LGBTQ-serving organizations the resources you need to better advocate for quality mental health care.
Over the next three years, we will:
- Create an “Annual State of the Community” report to help increase our understanding of LGBTQ mental health needs. This report can be an important educational and advocacy tool for LGBTQ individuals, family members, policy makers, and LGBTQ advocates throughout the state.
- Host town halls throughout the state to hear feedback from members of regional LGBTQ communities about barriers to accessing the mental health care they want and need.
- Sponsor trainings throughout the state on topics including Healthy Relationships, Raising Gender Expansive Children and Teens, Advocacy 101, and Creating Safe Spaces for LGBTQ Older Adults.
- Partner with Equality California to spread information about mental health at Pride Festivals, Fair Share for Equality, Advocacy Day, and more.
- Coordinate county task forces to influence MHSA plans and promote Prevention and Early Intervention Plans and Innovation Projects that support LGBTQ mental health.
- Advocate for increased access to culturally appropriate physical and mental/behavioral health care for LGBTQ Californians, of all ages, in all regions of the state.
- Keep you up to date about the latest LGBTQ mental health news through our blog, newsletter, Facebook, and Twitter.
How you can get involved:
- Subscribe to our blog
- Sign up for our Network Newsletter here
- Email Mandy Taylor, our Outreach and Advocacy Coordinator, to be added to an interest list and be the first to learn about new opportunities to get involved
- Join us for a town hall or training in your area
- Become a project liaisonto help spread the word in your community
- Join the CA LGBT HHS Network’s new Behavioral Health Working Group by emailing Mandy Taylor