The Washington Health Alliance is committed to becoming an inclusive and anti-racist organization. We pledge to create an environment where all employees and members, regardless of skin color, culture, ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, ability, or age, feel valued and have opportunities for growth. We commit to identify, discuss, expose and challenge inequities, including structural racism, in healthcare systems across Washington.

The Alliance releases Action Brief addressing LGBTQ+ behavioral health care barriers

In recognition of Transgender Awareness Week, and building off of its Pride Month documentary viewing and panel discussion, the Alliance has released an Action Brief that focuses on addressing barriers to behavioral health care for the LGBTQ+ community.

Across Washington, LGBTQ+ population is estimated at 5.2% and represents about 6% of the workforce – the vast majority of whom have insurance coverage.

However, a 2020 survey shows that 80 percent reported putting off care. A majority of the respondents, 51 percent, reported they delayed care because of distrust of doctors.

The Action Brief, which draws on the robust discussion from the “Between the Shades” documentary screening and expert panel, highlights how health care providers, health plans, and health insurance purchasers can create a culture that challenges existing barriers and paves the way for greater access to necessary behavioral health care.

For those interested in additional information about the documentary viewing and panel discussion, the Alliance has shared a video that captures the conversations.

The Alliance has also collected and shared helpful mental resources for LGBTQ+ individuals and their friends and family.

The Alliance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiative Celebrates Pride

In honor of Pride Month, the Washington Health Alliance hosted a screening of Between the Shades, a documentary by director Jill Salvino.

For those who were not able to attend and those who would like to watch it again, the Alliance has put together a video that includes the conversation and interviews with panelists and attendees.

The video can be found here.

Please do not hesitate to share the link with friends and family.

Addressing the behavioral health needs of the LGBTQ+ community is a crucial issue. Within the last year, statistics show that 45% of LGBTQ+ youth seriously considered death by suicide. The panel discussion highlighted several key avenues to address the problem.

Some of those highlights include:

  • Creating a safe environment for patients/clients starts with how an organization represents itself.
  • Older adults may have experienced more rejection and discrimination than today’s generation. We have more work to do to create an accepting and safe environment.
  • Partner with community-based organizations to create a peer-led workforce to deliver evidence-based interventions for mild forms of depression or anxiety.

For those interested in resources shared during the discussion, those materials can be found here. (LGBTQ+ Mental Health Resources)

This event was possible with the help of our sponsors: Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, with additional support from Aetna, City of Seattle, Community Health Plan of Washington, Kaiser Permanente Washington, Milliman MedInsight, Neighborcare Health, Optum, Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, and Washington State Health Care Authority.