Recently in recognition of National LGBT Health Week the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released an exciting document: “Top Health Issues for LGBT Populations Information & Resource Kit.”
The release of this document signifies yet another step toward the federal government's recognition of the unique healthcare needs of LGBT clients and patients. Its focus on substance abuse issues in the LGBT community is particularly important because of the prevalence of substance abuse in our community. According to another document produced by SAMHSA, A Provider's Introduction to Substance Abuse Treatment for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Individuals LGBT people generally use substances at higher rates than the general population. In addition, the Gay & Lesbian Medical Association also lists Substance Use in its "Top Ten Health Concerns for Gay/Bisexual Men" and the respective documents for lesbian and bisexual women, as well as transgender men and women.
This document also provides information specific to substance use in bisexual men and women, something many similar documents do not tease out. This is important because of the higher rates of substance use among bisexual men and women, as well as bisexual youth, when compared to gay men and lesbian women.
Here is a brief overview of what the document contains:
-A mini dictionary of terms necessary to provide culturally competent care.
- A detailed chapter on gender identity.
-Top Health Issues for Lesbians, Gay Men, Bisexual Men and Women, and Transgender People
-Print and web based resources
-Power Point Slides to present the information to staff and coworkers