Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus Applauds Rep. Sharice Davids for Introducing Legislation to Address LGBTQ+ Mental Health

May 4, 2022 Issues: LGBT Issues

Washington, D.C. – The Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus applauds Equality Caucus Co-Chair Sharice Davids (KS-03) for introducing the Pride in Mental Health Act. This bill, which was endorsed by the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus, would create a new program at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to assess and improve LGBTQ+ youth mental health and would amend the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act to address and improve data collection related to LGBTQ+ child abuse and neglect, among other provisions.

“LGBTQ+ children and teens, especially youth of color, are facing a mental health crisis. These kids face rampant discrimination and stigmatization each and every day – and now, with the recent wave of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in state legislatures across the country, are left to feel all the more isolated and othered,” said Equality Caucus Chair David N. Cicilline (RI-01). “Representative Davids’ Pride in Mental Health Act will provide the critical data and resources we need to improve mental health resources and treatment for LGBTQ+ youth and will help us help these kids nationwide.”

“LGBTQ+ young people are under a tremendous amount of strain in this country. Bullying and harassment from peers and familial rejection take an enormous toll on children and adolescents, and now that the anti-LGBTQ discourse on the national level has been raised to a fever pitch, young people are even more vulnerable,” said Equality Caucus Co-Chair Mark Takano (CA-41). “Every child deserves to feel loved and supported, and the expansion of access to physical and mental health care must be one of our top priorities in supporting LGBTQ young people today. The coverage updates that the Pride in Mental Health Act offers are a crucial step towards meeting those needs, and I am proud to be an original cosponsor of this legislation.”

“We must step up and do more to protect all of our children, especially those at greatest risk,” said Equality Caucus Co-Chair Angie Craig (MN-02). “This critical legislation will bridge these gaps and ensure that LGBTQ+ youth have access to the resources and support they deserve to live happy and healthy lives.”

“Mental health is a growing concern for families and communities across the country, and frankly, we are failing many of our most vulnerable children on this issue. When we talk about improving mental health, we’re really talking about saving these kids’ lives,” said Equality Caucus Co-Chair and lead sponsor of the Pride in Mental Health Act Sharice Davids (KS-03). “This bill takes a comprehensive and data-driven approach to tackling the mental health crisis among youth in the LGBTQ+ community.”

“Members of the LGBTQ+ community are more likely to face discrimination and experience mental health issues, and the pandemic has only exacerbated mental health challenges in our community,” said Equality Caucus Co-Chair Chris Pappas (NH-01). “I’m pleased to see this bill will create new programs, enhance data collection methods, and take additional steps to improve mental health for LGBTQ+ individuals. I will continue to fight to protect LGBTQ+ Americans and ensure they have access to vital resources.”

“Children and teens across this country are facing a mental health crisis exacerbated by the pandemic. LGBTQ+ youth are at even greater risk of mental health issues because of the discrimination they face every day, which makes it that much harder to find the support they need,” said Equality Caucus Co-Chair Mondaire Jones (NY-17). “I’m glad to support this new bill that addresses the unique needs of LGBTQ+ individuals and creates critical resources for their mental health needs.”

“For me, mental health and coming out are closely tied together. Coming out inspired me to be more open about my struggle with mental health,” said Equality Caucus Co-Chair Ritchie Torres (NY-15). “As we continue to see a concerning rise in mental health crises among LGBTQ youth, it is clear Congress must take action. I am proud to support legislation that will address the growing need for comprehensive mental health services for LGBTQ youth in this country.” 

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