Behavorial Health Services for LGBTQI Individuals: Getting Started
In 2008, The Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) recognized the behavioral health disparities between the LGBTQI community and the larger population of consumers. the OMHSAS Deputy Secretary invited representatives of the LGBTQI consumer communities and advocates to a work group to discuss the needs and challenges of LGBTQI consumers in behavioral health systems. The group was also brought together to recommend improvements that could be implemented in order to help LGBTQI consumers.
The purpose was to ensure that OMHSAS, county mental health programs, behavioral health managed care organizations (BH-MCOs), and mental health provider agencies improve access to and quality of treatment and care for LGBTQI consumers. The work-group met in December 2008 and continued scheduled talks for six months into 2009. In attendance included LGBTQI individuals, family members, advocates, county representatives, BH-MCOs, OMHSAS staff, and academics. The group would later rename themselves the Keystone Pride Recovery Initiative.