Equality California Gets Record Grant to Assess LGBT Mental Health Needs
California officials have given gay rights group Equality California a record grant to study the mental health needs of the state’s LGBT community. The California Department of Mental Health awarded more than 440-thousand dollars to fund the first-ever statewide assesment of the gay community’s mental health needs.
Daniel Gould is Coordinator of the California LGBT Health and Human Services Network. He says the grant will fund MORE than just another study of what the gay community’s mental health needs are.
Gould: “There really is research existing that documents some of the mental health disparities for LGBT people. The state is really looking for something different out of this project. They want us to identify what the solutions are, that come from the people who are most affected.”
Gould says the study will hopefully inform state policy for years to come.
Gould: “The Department of Mental Health understands that they need to hear from the people that have expertise in LGBT mental health. They can’t just take these recommendations and put them in a book and leave it on a shelf. They want to really make changes to how LGBTQ folks can access care in California.”
The report could have implications far beyond California’s borders. Gould says officials in other states have already begun watching the process, and will continue to watch, to learn what the reports say, and see what changes end up being made as a result.