NYC to Focus on
LGBT Mental Health in 2008 Plan
New York City is
including LGBT residents in its 2008 Local Government
Plan for Mental Health Services, released October 22.
This is the first
time the city has included the words "gay" or
"lesbian" in the annual plan, the New York
Blade reported Friday. Next year's effort will address
rates of depression among LGBT residents, which are
reportedly double that of straight New Yorkers.
According to the article, the Department of Health has
focused more of its mental hygiene resources in the
past on the elderly, children,
and subcategories of people affected
by mental retardation, developmental disabilities, or
The plan also
acknowledged a recent study showing that a large
number of mental health care workers harbor negative
attitudes toward LGBT patients.
"The result is
that many LGBT consumers, having entered treatment,
leave prematurely,” the plan said.
even today, therapists and psychiatrists think of LGBT
persons as a traumatized or underdeveloped version of
a heterosexual person,” Christian Huygen,
executive director for Rainbow Heights Club in
Brooklyn, told the Blade. “When clients go to
their care providers and talk about LGBT issues, the care
provider assumes being LGBT is what the client wants
changed.” (The Advocate)