by Scout, Ph.D. Director, Network for LGBT Health Equity At The Fenway Institute
You know how one of our big pushes is LGBT Cultural Competency in Funding, right? We’ve got that policy brief on it, and a second policy brief crossing all disparity populations, we’ve testified to Sebelius, NIH, and CDC about it. We’ve done a big push to get the Community Transformation Grants to be culturally competent. Simple concept is: don’t just add a little funding for LGBT projects, but ensure LGBT people are being served by all your mainstream funding.
Well, about a year and a half ago we went to testify to the SAMHSA advisory committee meetings as they were developing their strategic plan and we asked for three things:
- Make cultural competency training mandatory
- Make sure all your funding includes LGBT action plans.
- Include LGBT people in all of your routine work (such as that suicide prevention strategy they had up the screen then)
Well you know SAMHSA has really pioneered including LGBT people in their work routinely. Last year we were really happy to report the new suicide prevention funding announcements encouraged LGBT inclusion as a scored part of their action plan. (which we hear might have netted as many as 22 state awards that are now including LGBT youth in their suicide prevention work)
Now, we are even more pleased to report the latest news: bolstered by the success of their suicide prevention funding announcement, SAMHSA staff are now reviewing all of their mainstream funding announcements to see where and how LGBT disparities can be included. According to one of the leads on the project “We love the LGBT Cultural Competence in Funding policy paper!”
For Fiscal Year 2013 alone, that’s over $3B in funds (many with a strong tobacco focus) that may now be held to a higher standard of inclusion. Excellent SAMHSA!