Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink brings you a round-up of some of the biggest LGBTQ wellness stories from the past week.
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Centers Play Major Mental Health Role
Researchers interviewed 60 LGBT center leaders and found that 98% provided support groups and 85% provided individual psychotherapy, underscoring the importance of mental health work by LGBT centers. They also found that most leaders had limited staff to provide these services and were interested in having more training on providing LGBT-specific, evidence-based care.
Resources Strained as Needs Soar
Relatedly, Fox 5 reported on the challenges facing LGBT health centers in New York, where a lack of patient visits and in-person fundraisers has meant for huge drops in revenues. At the same time, they are struggling to provide telehealth and other modified services to provide for health as well as social connection, as well as play a role in vaccine distribution – a further stretch of resources.
Learn more about what LGBT centers are doing in your area, and how to get involved or receive services, here.
PrEP is Widely Known, But Underused
A new study found that while 98% of sexual minority men and transgender women were aware of PrEP as an HIV prevention method, less than 25% were actually taking it. People of color included in the study were more likely to take PrEP if they had received information about it from a healthcare provider, underscoring the need for providers to educate patients (and themselves) on this topic).
After Incarceration, Challenges Continue
Center for American Progress published a report on the barriers facing LGBT folks who reenter the community following incarceration. For example, parole restrictions often limit housing and healthcare options for trans folks in particular, and some states permanently ban name changes for people with criminal convictions, making it impossible for people to access affirming IDs.
Mother-Son Duo Tackle Inequity
Commercial Appeal reported on how a mother-son duo in Memphis addressed the lack of Black-led LGBT organizations by forming one themselves. Relationships Unleashed is working to advance socioeconomic equity, sexual health, and – during the pandemic – COVID-19 relief to Black LGBT folks in the Memphis area.
Pandemic’s HIV Comparisons Have Limits
The Ithacan explored the limitations in comparisons between HIV and COVID-19. While COVID-19 has affected everyone (albeit inequitably) and therefore drawn widespread attention and resources, HIV was largely seen as a “gay cancer” that went ignored by many politicians and the general public for years, while LGBT communities were decimated.