It’s the 10th Annual LGBT Health Awareness Week (March 25-March 29, 2013)! This week promotes the health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender individuals and other sexual and gender minorities. Many organizations around the country are encouraging the community to take a deeper look at tobacco use and quit smoking.
There is a higher prevalence of smoking in the LGBT community. According to a report released by the National LGBT Tobacco Control Network and the Fenway Institute in 2005, LGBT individuals are 40-70 percent more likely to smoke cigarettes than non-LGBT individuals. The same report attributes the increased use within the community to “higher levels of social stress, frequent patronage of bars and clubs, higher rates of alcohol and drug use, and direct targeting of LGBT consumers by the tobacco industry.” A local survey conducted by the Midlands Sexual Health Research Collaborative in 2011 found that 26.2% of the sample reported smoking cigarettes everyday or some days, but nearly half of the sample (46.4%) had smoked more than 5 packs in their life. Additionally, about 1 in 5 smokers in this study reported an attempt at quitting smoking in the last 12 months.
LGBT adolescents are also of particular concern. A recent national study found that 35 percent of adolescent males and 45 percent of adolescent females who reported same-sex attraction or behavior smoked, compared with 29 percent of non-LGBT adolescents. In a 2007 study of LGBT youth, those who smoked told researchers they believe cigarettes add to a facade of toughness that decreases bullying and also act as easy ice breakers.
National LGBT Health Week is organized by the National Coalition for LGBT Health. This year’s campaign, titled “Come Out For Health,” focuses on four core principles: empowering consumers to approach their health care providers concerning their sexual orientation and gender identity; directing their providers on how to be culturally competent and sensitive to the needs of the LGBT community; creating inclusive policy making by getting people involved with government; and reaching out to a variety of communities to raise awareness about the health needs of the LGBT individuals.
For more information or to request a presentation on LGBT tobacco use and prevention initiatives in Douglas County, please contact Diana Rogel-Mendoza at (402) 559-9662 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In May 2008 the US House of Representatives proclaimed July as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. The resolution, sponsored by Rep. Albert Wynn [D-MD] and cosponsored by a large bipartisan group, was passed in recognition that:
Improved access to mental health treatment and services and public awareness of mental illness are of paramount importance;and
An appropriate month should be recognized as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month to enhance public awareness of mental illness and mental illness among minorities.
The month was named after Bebe Moore Campbell as she was an accomplished author, advocate, co-founder of NAMI Urban Los Angeles and national spokesperson, who passed away in November 2006. She received NAMI’s 2003 Outstanding Media Award for Literature for the book Sometimes My Mommy Gets Angry, written especially for children, about a young girl who learns how to cope with her mother’s bipolar illness. In 2005, her novel 72-Hour Hold focused on an adult daughter and a family’s experience with the onset of mental illness. It helped educate Americans that the struggle often is not just with the illness, but with the healthcare system as well.
Campbell advocated for mental health education and support among individuals with mental illness and their families of diverse communities.
Throughout the month of July, we encourage you to learn more about mental health issues and what you can do. If you would like to get more involved in activities this month, contact Center staff member, Antonia Correa, at (402) 559-3670 or via email at: email@example.com.
Talk about it. Leave us a comment, Facebook us, or Tweet us @UNMCCRHD using the hashtag: #MinorityMentalHealth.
NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (Nebraska), will hold their annual walk tomorrow morning, Saturday, June 9, 2012 at Midtown Crossing in Turner Park. The walk will begin at 9am. All are welcome to join our CRHD Cultural Walkers Team headed by Antonia Correa. For more information, you can reach her at (402) 559-9660 or via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mental illness impacts the lives of at least one in four adults and one in 10 children—or 60 million Americans, and mental illnesses represent one of the leading causes of disability in the United States. View NAMI’s newest PSA.
NAMI Nebraska is a nonprofit, grassroots organization dedicated to education, support and advocacy with anyone whose life has been touched by mental illness. NAMI Nebraska helps unite parents, spouses, siblings, friends and people who have a mental illness together with mental health professionals to fight for improved treatment, a better quality of life and recovery.
We hope to see you tomorrow for this great cause!
The NAMIWalks 2011 was celebrated during a great sunny day on June 11, 2011 at Elmwood Park. The UNMC/Center for Reducing Health Disparities was represented as the “Cultural Walkers Team.” The team was lead by Antonia Correa and supported by Shinobu Watanabe, Associate Professor of Department of Epidemiology, and graduate assistants from the College of Public Health including John Ikena and Lisa Weissenburger-Moser. The team recruited 35 walkers and raised $1,255.00. The walk was enjoyed by over 500 walkers, including Mayor Suttle who joined us for the festivities. U.S. Senator Johanns was the Honorary Chair and sent greetings.
UNMC Cultural Walkers Team
Thanks to the 17 online donors and the 35 walkers who participated in our Cultural Walkers Team and who helped make the Nebraska NAMIWALKS – Changing Minds…One Step at a Time, a success in 2011! Every contribution helped no matter how great or small it was. The support provided by Dr. Watanabe-Galloway, TJ, and Lisa were amazing! Let’s not rest until we have reached out to our friends, family and community to tell them how important NAMI and it’s programs are to us and ask them for their support.
Cash or check donations are still accepted through June 30, 2011.