How to Advocate for
Better LGBT Suicide
Prevention at
State/Tribal Level
Monday, January 31, 2011
Dr. Scout, Director Network for LGBT
Health Equity
Dr. Barbara Warren, Hunter College Center
on LGBT Soc. Sci. & Public Policy
Dave Reynolds, The Trevor Project
 Overview of this Advocacy Opportunity – Dr. Scout, Network for
LGBT Health Equity
 Linking with the Right State/Tribal Rep – Dr. Scout
 LGBT Youth Suicide Prevention Strategies – Dr. Barbara Warren,
Hunter College Ctr or LGBT Soc. Sci. & Public Policy & Dave Reynolds,
Trevor Project
 Real World Examples–Dave Reynolds
 Comments from CenterLink & Equality Federation staff
Overview of this Advocacy
Background on Network
 Formerly the Network for LGBT Tobacco Control
 Funded by CDC
 Dedicated to linking people and information to advance LGBT
health, particularly tobacco control
 Specialty in working with state departments of health and other
health policymakers
 Conduct a lot of LGBT advocacy at federal level on LGBT health,
themes include: collect data, require LGBT disparity plans in all
health funding streams.
The Push: Require
LGBT Health Disparity
• Strategy: if we can encourage federal government, state
governments and other health funders to require LGBT disparity
plans as part of their mainstream grants, we notably change
LGBT services.
Acronym buster: RFA is shorthand for Request for Applications.
Resources: Network’s Policy Statement on our web, see it here.
We can send you examples of another federal RFA that did this too
This message can be repeated at state level too!
Why is this news now?
• Alphabet soup: how do we say Substance Abuse Mental Health
Services Administration in short?
• SAMHSA dedicated to enhancing LGBT health, especial interest
in T now.
• They distribute largest block of suicide prevention funds in
country, by asking states department of health’s to apply for
• SAMHSA adopted the new strategies and significantly enhanced
the LGBT language in the scored section for several suicide
prevention RFAs.
• This means states will be scrambling to figure out what to
say… and that’s where you come in!
RFA overview
Purpose: suicide prevention
Nickname: Garret Lee Smith awards
Due Feb. 16th
32 states/tribes can apply to get awards for up to $480k/yr
Length: up to 3 years
States/tribes can designate contractors to do the work for them.
LGBT inclusion plans are requested in two categories that total
55% of all the points you can earn on the proposal.
• See full RFA at, look up RFA # SM-11-001
What does it say? Pt. 1
Section B: Proposed Evidence-Based Service/Practice (25 points)
Describe how the proposed practice will address the following issues in
the population(s) of focus, while retaining fidelity to the chosen practice:
• Demographics – race, ethnicity, religion, gender, age, geography,
and socioeconomic status;
• Language and literacy;
• Sexual identify – sexual orientation and gender identity; and
• Disability.
What does it say? Pt. 2
Section C: Proposed Implementation Approach (30 points)
• Describe how you will identify, recruit and retain the population(s) of focus (e.g.,
youth at-risk identified by the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention;
including, but not limited to lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) youth,
AI/AN, military family members and veterans.) Using your knowledge of the
language, beliefs, norms and values, and socioeconomic factors of the population(s)
of focus, discuss how the proposed approach addresses these issues in
outreaching, engaging, and delivering programs to this population e.g. collaborating
with community gatekeepers.
• Explain how your project will reach youth at risk for suicide or suicide attempts, such
as, but not limited to AI/AN youth; Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander youth;
Latina adolescents; Justice-involved youth; youth in the foster care system; Trauma
survivors; youth who have abused substances; school drop outs and unemployed
young people; Returning veterans and their families; LGBT youth (gay, lesbian,
bisexual, transgender youth; Youth who have already attempted suicide (and are
thus at heightened risk for a further attempt or death by suicide) or have been seen
in Emergency Departments."
States-eye Point of View
• If we really want to get these awards, we’d better do everything
possible to get all the points.
• Yikes, look at all this language asking us to talk about what we’ll
do for LGBT suicide prevention, never seen that before.
• Well, I’m not sure what to do for this part of the proposal, and I
have to have my writing done by Feb. 10th!
• Maybe someone we fund knows? What are the local LGBT
resources? What are the best ways to reach this population?
• Who can I talk to who will help me figure this out?
• Enter YOU!
Linking With the State/Tribal
Linking with the right
state rep
• Find the SAMHSA rep for your state/tribe: see all reps in this
• Call them, see if they’re preparing a Garrett Lee Smith proposal.
• If no, tough luck.
• If yes, find out who’s in charge of preparing it. Contact them.
• Be armed with some LGBT suicide facts to help make your case
• Present yourself as offering help to the preparer, you are their
LGBT inclusion solution, right?
Possible Advocacy
Getting better LGBT suicide prevention work in your area!
Establishing your org as an LGBT resource for state officials
Getting funding for your organization
Getting states to collect LGBT data on their big youth survey
(called YRBS)
Getting LGBT youth included in advisory councils
Getting more LGBT inclusion in the state suicide prevention plan
Showing your constituency how you are advocating for LGBT
civil rights or health
Saving lives.
LGBT Youth Suicide Prevention
Center for Mental Health Services
Cooperative Agreements for StateSponsored Youth Suicide
Prevention and Early Intervention
(Short Title: State and Tribal Youth
Suicide Prevention
Due: February 16, 2011
32 grants to be awarded for total of
Up to $480,000 per year
No cost sharing required
Grant period Up to 3 years
The purpose of the grants is to support State-sponsored
suicide prevention activities rather than to increase the
general availability of mental health services. Use of grant
funds for direct clinical services must be clearly linked to
the State’s overall suicide prevention strategy.
…training, assessment, post-suicide intervention services,
information and awareness campaigns, and other suicide
prevention activities. (Note that the program requirement in
Section I-2.2 of this RFA stating that, “[a]t least 85 percent
of grant funds must be used for direct services” does not
refer to direct clinical services.)
Risk & protective
• RISK- Social isolation
• Protection: Decrease social isolation through engagement in
peer based support groups- LGBT youth providers and activities,
LGBT youth cultural programs, LGBT youth peer support, GSAs
• RISK: Adult and family rejection
• Protection: Provision of culturally component care and support
from caring adults- guidance counselors, teachers, counselors,
mentors – need for LGBT cultural competency training and
education for these providers
• Protection: Family acceptance: facilitate family engagement
with LGBT family support programs, networks and mentors
Sub recipient activities
• Do : outreach and engagement of youth at risk, youth in need
• Become part of: the referral and case management network
• Offer Peer support: hotlines, support groups, cultural
programming for LGBT positive identity and buddy/friendship
programs, GSAs
• Conduct/participate in: Focus groups for educational
• Provide: Cultural competency training and provider education
• Convene: Parent resources- PFLAG, COLAGE, etc.
• Offer: LGBT mental health and youth services expertise
Real World Examples
Real World
• Nearly ½ of all 32 current grantees report activities focused
on LGBT youth
• Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment:
• Massachusetts Department of Public Health:
• California Office of Suicide Prevention and The Trevor
• Missouri Department of Mental Health and The Trevor
• The scale and participation of LGBT organizations will be
very different for each grant—LGBTQ youth should be
included in as many as possible in a meaningful way
Social Media
YouTube Channel
The Network for LGBT Tobacco Control looks forward to working with you
to collaboratively address LGBT tobacco health disparities.
Additional questions…
Feel free to contact us whenever needed
Dr. Scout | Program Director
The Network for LGBT Health Equity
The Fenway Institute | Fenway Health
Ansin Building, 8th Floor
1340 Boylston Street | Boston, MA 02215
Voice: 401-267-8337 | Fax: 401-633-6092

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