WHAT WE KNOW
Well-documented physical and mental health disparities exist among LGBT people at every stage of their lifespan. LGBT communities have immediate and pressing needs demanding focused efforts, yet far too many LGBT individuals lack access to the quality services and prevention interventions they need, particularly those from poor and marginalized communities.
The need for competent health care for LGBT people is recognized, yet research upon which to build optimal services is insufficient.This present moment of unprecedented public awareness and interest in the needs and human rights of LGBT people represents a great opportunity and continuing challenge as social and political progress brings with it some new areas of concern, including:
- Children "coming out" at ever-younger ages
- New family configurations created
- Early medical interventions for transgender youth
- First cohort of openly LGBT people becoming senior citizens
- Persistent discrimination, violence, and bullying
Among the key arenas for ongoing social change will be the health care system. Even well- meaning clinicians have little training working with LGBT patients and lack evidence-based knowledge to address concerns.
OUR UNIQUE POSITION
Drawing on the resources of a pre-eminent academic medical institution located in one of the most active and visible LGBT communities in the world, the Program for the Study of LGBT Health is uniquely suited to provide leadership to promote the health and wellness of LGBT people.
Our researchers, clinicians, and educators believe that by advancing the science of LGBT health and educating the next generation of health providers, we contribute significantly to overall population health. We do this by providing LGBT people with culturally and scientifically competent health and mental health care that allows them to reduce vulnerability, foster resilience, and fully thrive.
To achieve our goals, we are building a comprehensive understanding of the development of gender identity and sexual orientation in interaction with the social environment across the lifespan. We are developing models of comprehensive multi-disciplinary care, producing evidence-based guidelines to address specific health care needs, and providing scientific evidence to inform public policy.