Grants For LGBTQ+ People Seeking Addiction Or Mental Health Care

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The LGBTQ+ community faces judgment, discrimination, and mistreatment, which leads to an increased risk of drug and alcohol abuse. Many grants are created specifically for LGBTQ+ people with mental health and substance use disorders.

Addiction Grants For LGBTQ+ People

Millions of Americans face drug and alcohol abuse issues every year. However, some demographics are at a greater risk of experiencing substance abuse than others.

One of these groups is the LGBTQ+ community. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer adults are more likely to experience substance use or other mental health disorders than heterosexual adults.

Many reasons contribute to this, including discrimination and mistreatment in the healthcare system.

Fortunately, there are resources to help this community, including LGBTQ+ rehab centers, treatment approaches, and grants that provide funding for culturally competent care.

Below we’ve provided information on LGBTQ+ addiction and mental health treatment grants for you or a loved one to explore.

Why Does The LGBTQ+ Community Experience Higher Rates Of Substance Abuse And Mental Health Disorders?

The root of mental health disorders in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community cannot be linked to a single cause but to several.

Throughout history, LGBTQ+ people have been judged and discriminated against by society, often including healthcare professionals.

This mistreatment can lead to chronic stress, which may cause people to look for relief in drug and alcohol use. Over time, this can lead to the development of a substance use disorder (SUD).

Factors leading to SUDs and other mental health issues in the LGBTQ+ community include:

  • trauma from childhood discrimination
  • social prejudice
  • unfavorable laws
  • mistreatment from healthcare professionals
  • marketing efforts by alcohol and tobacco companies that make bars a “safe space” for the LGBTQ+ community

Many LGBTQ+ people with SUDs or other mental health disorders find that their sexual orientation or gender identity is not respected in medical settings.

In addition, healthcare professionals often lack the proper training to treat health issues experienced by the LGBTQ+ community.

For these and other reasons, queer-identifying people may delay seeking treatment or drop out of treatment.

Untreated addictions can lead to the development of other mental health disorders. Conversely, untreated mental health issues can lead to the development of addiction.

This is known as co-occurring disorders. For example, a common dual diagnosis is depression and alcohol addiction.

LGBTQ+-Friendly Addiction Treatment And Mental Health Care

However, with more people recognizing the importance of mental health awareness, more resources for marginalized communities are becoming available.

LGBTQ+-specific addiction treatment approaches that recognize and cater to the needs of this community are becoming the norm at rehab centers.

Oftentimes these approaches are the same as the ones used in traditional treatment but adjusted to meet the needs of the LGBTQ+ community.

Examples of LGBT-specific treatment options include:

  • trauma-informed therapy
  • 12-step meetings or other peer recovery support groups
  • dual diagnosis treatment of co-occurring disorders
  • care provided by LGBT treatment providers

The LGBTQ+ community also often faces barriers to healthcare, including homophobia and transphobia, gaps in insurance coverage, cost-related obstacles, and more.

Fortunately, grants can help gay and trans people access the care they need.

LGBTQ+ Mental Health And Addiction Treatment Grants

Healthcare grants are administered by private and public entities to help underrepresented communities receive proper physical, mental, and behavioral health treatment.

These grants may be designed for people who are uninsured, underinsured, or living on limited means and usually don’t require that awardees pay any of the funds back.

Below we’ve listed several grants for the LGBTQ+community that either individuals or healthcare facilities can apply for to improve their own or their clients’ mental health.

In the case of grants for healthcare providers, those that receive these funds can often provide culturally competent care at a reduced cost.

Nic Pagano LGBTQ+ Fund

This grant is named after Nic Pagano, an actor and passionate member of the LGBTQ+ community who died in 2021 from an overdose.

Pagano’s legacy lives on through this grant that aims to expand LGBTQ+-friendly addiction treatment options, cultural competency, and access to mental health care for the LGBTQ+ community.

The Release Foundation partners with Caron Treatment Centers to help allocate these funds to those in need. Find out more by visiting

LGBTQI+ Family Support

The LGBTQI+ Family Support grant is short for the Family Counseling and Support for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex+ Youth, and their Families grant.

It aims to prevent drug use, suicide, depression, and other behavioral health risks in young LGBTQ+ people by establishing family counseling and support programs.

This grant is administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Interested state agencies and treatment providers can learn more about the LGBTQI+ Family Support grant and the application process by visiting SAMHSA’s website.

Substance Abuse Prevention And Treatment Block Grant (SABG)

The Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant (SABG) is another grant administered by SAMHSA for addiction treatment providers.

This grant allows states and jurisdictions to help anyone experiencing addiction, with a focus on vulnerable populations such as the LGBTQ community and pregnant women.

Treatment providers can learn more and apply here.

Minority AIDS Initiative: The Substance Use and Human Immunodeficiency Virus Prevention Navigator Program for Racial/Ethnic Minorities

Another grant allocated by SAMHSA offers funding to addiction recovery programs that seek to help racial and ethnic minority populations at high-risk for SUDs and HIV infection.

This program prioritizes LGBTQ+ people living in unstable conditions or in communities with high rates of HIV infection and drug abuse.

Programs applying to this grant can use the funds to help children, teens, or adults with substance abuse and HIV infection.

Awardees are expected to provide:

  • substance abuse and HIV interventions and strategies under SAMHSA’s Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF)
  • extensive outreach services to high-risk populations using social media strategies
  • HIV, viral hepatitis, and STI testing
  • referrals for persons with SUDs and HIV to appropriate providers of care and treatment services
  • education for providers on substance use and HIV care and treatment services

Apply for this grant by visiting the SAMHSA website.

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