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Equality California Institute Receives $444,000 Grant from California Department of Mental Health

(LOS ANGELES) - The California LGBT Health and Human Services Network of Equality California Institute (EQCAI) has been awarded a two-year, $444,000 grant by the California Department of Mental Health. This historic grant will fund a first ever statewide assessment of the mental health needs of LGBT communities.

“The impact of discrimination on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people is immense, often leading to mental health issues like depression, substance abuse and even suicide,” said Geoff Kors, Executive Director of EQCAI. “Never before has the state invested in research of this scope for the LGBT community. This is an important step toward ensuring equal access to culturally appropriate mental health services that can help the LGBT community overcome these challenges.”

The study will collect statewide data on the harm caused by discrimination, examining such issues as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, substance abuse and suicide. It will identify the best ways to prevent and treat mental health issues in the LGBT community. The project will be guided by a statewide work group drawn from within the LGBT community, and it will work collaboratively within the multicultural and multilingual populations in California.

“This grant will literally change the face of mental health services in California and be a model for the rest of the nation,” said Daniel Gould, EQCAI’s Health and Human Services Network Coordinator. “The work we do will guide LGBT organizations, practitioners and policy makers in designing and implementing effective programs and policies that better address our community’s mental health needs.”

The California LGBT Health and Human Services Network is a coalition of organizations that directly serve the LGBT communities of California. These organizations deal with a myriad of issues including safe schools, teenage suicide prevention and elder housing. To learn more about EQCAI’s Health and Human Services Network, please visit www.eqcai.org/health/about.