Serving the LGBT Community By Addressing Their Specific Needs

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender individuals should be treated with dignity, respect, and equality. In order to understand the unique issues facing these groups, it is important grasp the differences between them. Although commonly combined, the LGBT community is made up of four very distinct populations. WestCare's staff is educated and trained on each group's norms and the issues they face. Because substance abuse, mental health issues, violence, and suicide tend to be higher among the LGBT population, WestCare works to ensure they receive the best support possible.

Cultural sensitivity is a part of all services WestCare provides. Within the LGBT community, this means understanding the cultures of each group and individualizing all programs and services accordingly. The type of structure that may work for a lesbian or heterosexual may not be as effective for a transgender or bisexual. WestCare realizes the importance of cultural education, and works to ensure that staff is prepared and trained for all clientele.

All WestCare clients, regardless of sexual preference, receive risk-reduction counseling. Because HIV/AIDS is statistically more common within the LGBT community, education in this area is extremely important. WestCare uses evidence-based practices to promote prevention and counsel those infected, affected, or at-risk or HIV/AIDS. For more information on HIV/AIDS specific-programming, please visit the HIV/AIDS section.