Addressing Behavioral Health Disparities among the LGBTQ Community is Focus of SSW Institute Grant Award
The Institute for Innovation and Implementation at the University of Maryland School of Social Work (SSW) has been awarded a 5-year, $3.5 million grant to support the implementation of change strategies within mental health and substance use disorder treatment systems to address disparities impacting the LGBTQ+ community.
The grant, recently awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, will allow the Institute and participating partners to establish a Center for Excellence on LGBTQ+ Behavioral Health Equity (CfE LGBTQ BHE).
The intent of the project is to provide health care practitioners with best and evidence-based practices and implementation strategies that directly reduce disparities among the LGBTQ+ population across the mental health and substance use disorder treatment systems. Current data on disparities among LGBTQ+ people highlights the importance of more tailored and culturally responsive behavioral health services. The goals of this CfE LGBTQ BHE include increasing awareness and understanding of these disparities among providers, families, and youth; increasing practitioner knowledge and skill, and accelerating the adoption of best and evidence-based practices shown to reduce disparities.
Angela Weeks, MPA, is the project director for this Center. Ms. Weeks expressed appreciation to SAMHSA for “prioritizing the need to address behavioral health disparities, historically linked to discrimination or exclusion, as a critical component of holistic behavioral health for LGBTQ+ populations across the U.S.,” Weeks said. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to provide training and skill building for practitioners to recognize and address bias so that it does not impact the care they provide. Read the full press release here.
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