The San Luis Obispo County LGBTQ+ Mental Health Equity Task Force hosted a virtual town hall on Feb. 25.
The goal of the event was to discuss mental health needs for the LGBTQ+ community in SLO County.
Dr. Jay Bettergarcia presented a research project to better identify needs, as well as barriers to healthcare.
Their report was a mixed-method mental health needs assessment conducted among focus groups of LGBTQ+ youth and adults in SLO County and Santa Maria. It contained both a quantitative online survey, as well as qualitative focus groups.
The study included some of the following recommendations:
- Organizations identify areas for growth and change to help support LGBTQ+ mental health and wellness
- Transgender and nonbinary community members are in need of more affirming mental health support
- Suicide prevention efforts need to purposefully include LGBTQ+ members
Other groups like Cuesta College, Cal Poly, Tenet Health Central Coast presented and talked about efforts to create more LGBTQ+-affirming spaces.