by Paul Curtis and Michael Carrone
Executive Director of the California Council of Community Behavioral Health Agencies and a National Council board member, and the Director of Healthcare Transformation, respectively
Research shows that individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) experience disproportionately higher rates of mental health and substance use issues. In fact, they are more than twice as likely to experience a mental health condition than the general population. They are also at higher risk for substance misuse, suicidal thoughts and attempts, and becoming victims of violence.
More work is needed to better meet the behavioral health needs of the roughly 9 million Americans in the LGBTQ+ population. That is why the National Council is launching a Special Interest Group to engage members in responding to LGBTQ+ issues. Throughout the year, we will introduce opportunities for members to examine new interventions and drive conversations that will improve care.
As a member of this group, you will get to engage like-minded peers, access blog posts, attend webinars, participate in "deep dive" conversations with National Council leadership and take part in a networking event at NatCon20. This is more than just an invitation to explore a topic of interest – it is your chance to gain new insights, participate in probing conversations and amplify your service delivery.
Beyond the LGBTQ+ community, our Special Interest Groups will also focus on other populations in need, such as older adults, children and family, and individuals with intellectual and developmental disorders. Each group will afford you the tools, knowledge and networks you need to accelerate your learning of – and impact on – these vulnerable communities.
Interested in participating? Join us for an LGBTQ+ group orientation webinar at 1 p.m. ET on December 11 to learn more. Interested in other groups? Let us know! Have questions? Contact us.