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Biden-Harris Administration Awards $5.1M in Support of LGBTQI+ Youth and Families

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Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), announced four awards totaling $5.1 million for Family Counseling and Support for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex+ Youth and their Families.

These grants are in addition to $1.7M in grant funding previously awarded in 2023 to four other recipients. All eight awardees will be engaging LGBTQI+ youth and their families to prevent risk of health conditions, including behavioral health conditions (e.g., suicidality, depression, homelessness, drug use, HIV) and promote well-being for LGBTQI+ youth by establishing family counseling and support programs and training providers on family counseling and support interventions tailored for LGBTQI+ families.

“The health of our nation begins with the wellness of our youth, and every young American must receive adequate behavioral health supports regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “Facilitating behavioral health services for communities in need are a vital part of our obligation to ensure overall health and human dignity.”

“The pursuit of equity in behavioral health care remains a key component of SAMHSA’s mission,” said Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon, Ph.D., HHS Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use and the leader of SAMHSA. “We remain steadfast in our commitment to ensure behavioral health services for all, with distinct attention to young people in particular need.”

Various SAMHSA publications and other agency-facilitated supports for the LGBTQI+ population have been made available in recent years:

  • In June 2023, SAMHSA published the data report Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Behavioral Health: Results from the 2021 and 2022 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health (PDF | 682 KB). The report indicates that lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults are more likely than straight adults to use substances, experience mental health conditions including major depressive episodes, and experience serious thoughts of suicide.
  • FindSupport.gov in June 2023 began specifically identifying relevant available resources for LGBTQI+ individuals seeking access to inclusive and affirming mental health care and supports. These resources include how to avoid and deal with harmful approaches like ‘conversion therapy.’ FindSupport.Gov was launched in May 2023 as a user-friendly website, designed for the general public, to help people identify available resources, explore unbiased information about various treatment options, and learn how to reach out to get the support they need for issues related to mental health, drugs, or alcohol.
  • SAMHSA published Moving Beyond Change Efforts: Evidence and Action to Support and Affirm LGBTQI+ Youth in March 2023, a report that provides behavioral health professionals, researchers, policymakers and other audiences with a comprehensive research overview and accurate information about effective and ineffective therapeutic practices related to youth of diverse sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • In July 2023, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline expanded specialized services for LGBTQI+ youth and young adults with 24/7 call, text and chat for individuals who want to connect with a counselor specifically focused on meeting their needs. A pilot program, which ran September 2022 through June 2023, demonstrated a significant demand for the service, which accounted for about 6% of calls, 11% of chats, and 15% of texts routed to the 988 Lifeline network during the pilot phase.
  • Since 2020, SAMHSA has funded a Center of Excellence for LGBTQ+ Behavioral Health Equity, which is designed to support the implementation of change strategies within mental health and substance use disorder treatment systems to address disparities impacting the LGBTQ+ community.

Learn more about SAMHSA’s equity efforts to support the needs of LGBTQI+ individuals.

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat at 988lifeline.org. To learn how to get support for mental health, drug or alcohol issues, visit FindSupport.gov. If you are ready to locate a treatment facility or provider, you can go directly to FindTreatment.gov or call 800-662-HELP (4357).

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Reporters with questions should send inquiries to media@samhsa.hhs.gov.


The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA’s mission is to lead public health and service delivery efforts that promote mental health, prevent substance misuse, and provide treatments and supports to foster recovery while ensuring equitable access and better outcomes.

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