Staff from the Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board of Franklin County (ADAMH) walked in the Stonewall Columbus Pride March carrying a banner with the words Help, Healing, Health and Hope for All. Those words are symbolic of ADAMH’s vision, which states that individuals and families in Franklin County can achieve optimal mental health and wellness, free from stigma, with equitable access to quality community-based services and supports.
Achieving optimal health for all entails paying close attention to the needs of our most vulnerable populations. This includes the LGBTQIA+ community. It is widely reported that LGBTQIA+ individuals are twice as likely to experience mental health issues and are at greater risk for suicide.
One of the ways ADAMH invests in care for this population is through a partnership with North Central Mental Health Services and Stonewall Columbus. Since 2012, ADAMH has helped fund embedded counseling services at Stonewall.
These services, provided by North Central, offer accessible, effective, affirming and culturally competent mental health and drug and alcohol treatment to LGBTQIA+ individuals in Franklin County. Treatment follows evidence-based clinical models and is available in the form of individual, couples, family and group counseling.
“Having services easily accessible where people live, work and socialize helps to break down barriers that prevent people from receiving services they need,” said Matt Diamond, Clinical Supervisor at North Central Mental Health Services. “Through this partnership with North Central Mental Health Services, Stonewall Columbus, the ADAMH Board of Franklin County and members of the LGBTQIA+ community, we hope to build a stronger, safer and more affirming community for everyone.”
Franklin County residents with loved ones in the LGBTQIA+ community also can take advantage of the counseling services offered at Stonewall. This includes counseling aimed at family/parental acceptance and understanding of a loved one’s identification with same-sex attraction or gender non-conformity.
Anyone interested in accessing these services can fill out a form on the Stonewall website to request intake with a counselor.
A number of other ADAMH-funded agencies have programs specifically designed to meet the needs of the LGBTQIA+ community. View the ADAMH provider directory to search for services.