- February 2015
- Vol. 16, No. 1
Report on LGBTQ Health and Well-Being
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS's) Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Issues Coordinating Committee issued its annual report on the national state of LGBT health and well-being. The fourth such report since a 2011 Presidential directive to determine how HHS could work toward improving the health and well-being of the LGBT community, the report reviews key accomplishments in this arena during 2013 to 2014 and outlines the main objectives for continuing this work in 2015. Some of the accomplishments detailed in the report occurred in areas such as health-care reform, youth and families, and cultural competency.
The White House and HHS hosted a joint outreach summit aimed at helping LGBT communities and leaders access resources that will help them work with LGBT families in obtaining health insurance via the Marketplaces. The Administration for Children and Families and the Department of Housing and Urban Development worked together on a project to prevent LGBT youth homelessness, called the LGBT Youth Homelessness Prevention Initiative. The project goal is to help Federal agencies and local communities implement strategies that will help prevent LGBT youth homelessness and find a way to quickly help youth who have become homeless for the first time. In an effort to increase cultural competency, the Office of Minority Health and other partners published an updated National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care with language that includes sexual orientation and gender identity in its definition of "culture."
The report delineates seven main objectives HHS will work toward in the coming year. Among these are a continuation of efforts to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, the funding of research on LGBT health inequities, and the improvement of cultural competency regarding the American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) LGBT/two-spirit community, including the creation of an external advisory committee on issues related to AI/AN LGBT/two-spirit health and mandatory training on AI/AN LGBT/two-spirit issues for senior management.
To read Advancing LGBT Health and Well-Being: 2014 Report, visit the HHS website at http://www.hhs.gov/lgbt/resources/reports/dhhs-lgbt2014annualreport.pdf (150 KB).
Children's Bureau Express covered the Resources to Support Children and Youth Who Are LGBTQI2-S and Their Families toolkit, which includes resources on working with AI/AN LGBT/two-spirit youth in the April 2014 issue. Read "Resources to Support LGBTQI2-S Youth, Families."