Culturally competent health care for LGBTQ + youth must include responsiveness and inclusiveness, recognizing that each young person is unique so that care is based on the needs of each young person, a panel of experts said in a recent roundtable organized by Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan.
Blue Shield of California’s Director of Behavioral Health David W. Bond hosted the virtual panel last week which included:
- Jicara collins, Public Health Program Manager, Clinic Health Education Team, Contra Costa County Health Services School Clinic Program
- Gigi Crowd, NAMI Contra Costa Executive Director
- Kanwarpal dahliwal, Co-founder and associate director of Center RYSE
- Kiku johnson, general manager of the Rainbow community center
- Gerold Loenicker, Program Manager, Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Contra Costa Behavioral Health Services
- Lynn mackey, Superintendent of Public Education, Contra Costa County Education Office
The panel began with Crowder’s emphasis on the importance of not only competent care, but also responsive and inclusive health care for the LGBTQ + youth community. Panelists agreed, adding that it was important to recognize that every young person is different and that providers should tailor their response to the individual’s needs.
The panel shared ideas on how to teach community workers and providers to be more compassionate towards LGBTQ + youth and how to create behavior change within education communities, health care and faith which translates into better support and care for them.
“What we know and what we hear from young people is that they find hope and affirmation in faith and it is our job to stand up for what works for them,” said Dhaliwal.
Discussing the impact of the education system on young people, Johnson noted that in addition to teaching students to read, write and count, “we need to add… healing and restorative relationships. These are at the heart of everything we do in this space and establishing these sustainable learning paths will require more investment. ”
Collins agreed, “We need to make sure that not only educators and health care providers are competent to provide care to LGBTQ + youth, but that other staff who interact with our youth also receive this training. “
The roundtable is just one step in an ongoing effort to shed light on this important topic and advance the conversation on how providers, community leaders and stakeholders can ensure that LGBTQ + youth have continuous and improved access to the care they need to thrive. .
Blue Shield is also doing its part to help break down barriers and prioritize the education and mental health of LGBTQ + youth in California. In 2019, the nonprofit Health Plan launched its BlueSky Initiative for Youth Mental Health, a state-wide, multi-year effort to improve access, awareness, and advocacy for youth mental health. youth mental health.
Blue Shield also provided grants to the Oakland LGBTQ Community Center for youth programs and a $ 4,000 community investment in the Rainbow Community Center in Contra Costa to support Transition’s telehealth and online education services. Age Youth. BlueSky from Blue Shield also offers online resources to support LGBTQ + youth and their families, including:
Blue Shield of California has a long-standing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion which includes:
- Advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion in its workforce and workplace.
- Promote health equity by supporting the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in the state of California.
- Increase our supplier relationships with women-owned businesses and people of color through our Supplier Diversity Program.
- Advocate for social justice by investing in the communities where its employees live and work.
Through ongoing conversations, investments and collaborations with community leaders, Blue Shield continues to be part of the solution by providing resources that result in inclusive and responsive health care for all Californians, including LGBTQ + youth. of State.
The recording of the roundtable is available online at this connect.