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LGBT Health and Well-being

Stronger Resources to Improve LGBT Health and Well-Being

Photo showing older females and males lifting weights in their left handHHS has taken many steps to strengthen the health resources available to LGBT Americans over the first three years of the Obama Administration.

In 2010, HHS established the nation’s first national resource center for older LGBT individuals. This center, funded by the Administration on Aging (AoA), supports communities across the country as they aim to serve the estimated 1.5 to 4 million LGBT individuals who are 60 and older. The center provides information, assistance and resources for both aging services, LGBT organizations, and providers at the state and community level to assist them in the development and provision of culturally sensitive supports and services.

In July 2010, President Obama and Secretary Sebelius announced the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, a rigorous effort to increase access to care and lower the number of new HIV cases in the United States by 25 percent within the next five years. The strategy seeks to reduce HIV-related health disparities with a specific focus on high-risk populations, including certain LGBT populations.

In September 2010, HHS announced that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) allocated $30 million in new resources to support the National HIV/AIDS strategy. These funds, made available by the Affordable Care Act, are providing a boost to states and communities as they focus HIV prevention on high-risk populations. The funds are also helping fill critical gaps in data, knowledge, and understanding of the epidemic.

In September 2010, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced $42.6 million in new grants over a three-year period to provide behavioral health services in communities most impacted by HIV/AIDS. Funding for the “12 Cities” program will be used to develop and expand networks of primary care, HIV/AIDS and behavioral health service providers serving racial and ethnic minorities, including LGBT individuals, with or at high risk for HIV/AIDS.

In October 2010, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) announced a $13.3 million grant to the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center over five years to help address barriers to permanency and well-being for LGBT foster youth, who are disproportionately represented in the foster care population. This is one of the largest federal grants to an organization that primarily serves LGBT communities.

In March 2011, HHS launched a new website – www.StopBullying.gov – which contains a dedicated section for LGBT youth. The site includes specific resources and assistance for LGBT youth, including examples of community groups that offer support and options to seek counseling. Secretary Sebelius also taped an “It Gets Better” video to address LGBT youth who have been bullied and are at risk of depression and suicide.

In June 2011, ACF announced the creation of a resource center to support resettlement of LGBT refugees who have faced persecution and discrimination in their home countries. The new center will provide resources to resettlement workers who are helping refugees assimilate in America in key locations, and provide training to staff on issues and needs specific to LGBT refugees.

In September 2011, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded $248,000 to create a National Training and Technical Assistance Center to help community health centers (CHCs) provide improved care for LGBT patients. The center will work in consultation with CHCs across the country – providing training for doctors, nurses, and other employees and developing health information resources specifically for LGBT patients. Additionally, SAMHSA is disseminating training curricula to help providers more effectively provide behavioral health services to LGBT Americans, in particular members of racial and ethnic minority populations.

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Content created by Assist. Sec./Public Affairs., Digital Communications Division
Content last reviewed on May 27, 2014