SAMHSA Encourages State Block Grants to Heighten LGBT Focus

[] It's National LGBT Health Awareness Week!

This week (March 25-29) is National LGBT Health Awareness Week, with a theme of "Come Out for Health."

Health concerns of LGBT populations is an issue close to the heart of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D., informed all SAMHSA staff of the following health concerns plaguing LGBT populations:

* "Lesbians are significantly more likely to drink heavily than heterosexual women; * Gay men are affected by depression and anxiety at a higher rate than the general population; * Bisexual adults have the lowest level of emotional well-being when compared to people of other sexual orientations; and * Thirty-eight to 65 percent of transgender individuals report suicidal ideation (thoughts about how to kill oneself).

However, it does not have to be this way. At SAMHSA, we are working to reduce these disparities by encouraging States to consider LGBT needs in administering their SAMHSA Block Grants resources, promoting a sexual and gender minority focus in funding announcements where it is appropriate, supporting the creation of sexual orientation questions for HHS national surveys, and providing ongoing leadership to help stop bullying of LGBT youth."

For more information on SAMHSA's ongoing efforts to reduce the impact of substance abuse and improve mental health among America's LGBT communities, please visit<>.