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California: LGBT community meeting in San Bernardino focuses on mental health

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. -- Members of the gay and lesbian community gathered Thursday with health officials at First Congregational United Church of Christ for the first of several town-hall meetings to be held statewide over mental-health concerns and access to care.

The meetings follow a recent report by Equality California and Mental Health America of Northern California titled "First Do No Harm: Reducing Disparities for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning Populations in California."

In the report, researchers found a "significant lack of cultural competence, knowledge, and sensitivity among mental- health service providers" working with the LGBTQ community.

"The need for culturally competent mental-health services is great, but greater still is the need to eliminate the multiple harms that contribute to negative mental health throughout LGBTQ communities," the report says.

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