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New program to serve LGBT military with mental illnesses, substance abuse
From an OutServe-SLDN press release
2018-07-09

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( WASHINGTON ) July 9, 2018 — Today, OutServe-SLDN and Strive Health ( Strive ) and Veteran & First Responder Healthcare ( VFR ) announce a sweeping and expansive new program that will increase access to much needed health services for LGBTQ service members, veterans and their families. In partnership, the two organizations will now provide cost-effective, outpatient addiction and mental health services, improving the lives of individuals and families surviving with mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders.

"This joint program initiative with Strive Health & VFR is truly groundbreaking for our LGBTQ service members, veterans and their families. Time and again, one of the hurdles our patriots face is access to care for those battling addiction and in need of mental health services. Even more importantly, this program will be the first of its kind to offer treatment from qualified professionals that are culturally competent in the unique needs of our LGBTQ military and veteran communities." said Matt Thorn, President & CEO for OutServe-SLDN.

There is a substantial gap in the availability of treatment specifically designed for LGBTQ service members, veterans, and their families with mental health and substance use disorder issues.

"After decades of anti-LGBTQ laws and policies both inside and outside of the military, LGBTQ service members, veterans, and their families not only face stigma when seeking treatment, but also a justified fear that we will experience discrimination or poor treatment in health care settings," said Kai Blevins, Director of Education, Chapter & Veteran Services for OutServe-SLDN. "The power of this new initiative is that it is by and for the LGBTQ military community. In partnership with Strive Health, we are proud to begin bridging the gap that has prevented so many in the LGBTQ military and veteran communities from seeking treatment for mental illnesses and substance abuse."

This joint initiative intends to use a national platform to set the new standard and break down the stigma of accessing addiction and mental health services; providing this specific community a much-needed resource. This will mark the first time an initiative to address mental health and addiction will be geared toward LGBTQ service members, veterans and their families on a national level.

"As an organization that believes all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity or sexual orientation deserve care, dignity and respect, it is of critical importance for us to address the significant unmet need for treatment services among LGBT service members, veterans and their families" said Eric Frieman, Co-CEO of Strive.

"As a veteran myself, we are honored to be working with OutServe-SLDN to take this issue head-on and increase the access to, and quality of, addiction and mental health treatment for LGBT service members, veterans and their families" said Eric Golnick, CEO of VFR Healthcare

As part of this joint endeavor, Strive Health & VFR will provide clinical services to referrals from OutServe-SLDN on an outpatient basis for service members, veterans and their families; ensuring that those seeking services are able to see a provider within 24-hours of contact. OutServe-SLDN will establish a referral system and access point for individuals seeking services while providing ongoing cultural competency training for all of Strive's staff, highlighting specific areas of concern and trends affecting the LGBTQ military and veteran communities.

OutServe-SLDN ( OS-SLDN ) is a non-partisan, non-profit, legal services and policy organization dedicated to bringing about full LGBT equality to America's military and ending all forms of discrimination and harassment of military personnel on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. With more than fifty chapters and 6,000 members around the world, OS-SLDN supports a professional network of LGBT military personnel and strives to create an environment of respect in the military with regard to sexual orientation and gender identity. OS-SLDN provides free and direct legal assistance to service members and veterans affected by the repealed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law and the prior regulatory ban on open service, as well as those currently serving who may experience harassment or discrimination. For more information, visit www.outserve-sldn.org .

Strive Health & VFR were founded to become the premier provider of high-quality, cost-effective, evidence-based outpatient addiction and behavioral health treatment in the United States. Strive programs and services are designed to provide high-quality, trauma-informed and client-centered outpatient treatment to help individuals in recovery maintain their life in the "real world" as they rebuild healthy, self-directed lives, reach their full potential, and achieve long-lasting outcomes.

Strive Health & VFR is proud to have developed a network of Centers for Recovery and Community Health united in its mission of providing the highest quality care to individuals and families striving to live healthy, self-directed lives. Strive centers provide a wide range of trauma-informed outpatient treatment programs and service for Substance Use Disorder and co-occurring mental health conditions that address the multi-level needs of its patients. Further, Strive programs utilize evidence-based treatment modalities, and offer medication-assisted treatment ( MAT ), such as Vivitrol, to patients as clinically and medically appropriate.

VFR ( Veteran & First Responder ) Healthcare, the sister company of Strive Health, is a veteran-owned and operated organization that provides treatment programs and services designed specifically for veterans, first responders, and their families. All Strive centers proudly serve VFR Healthcare and offer confidential, trauma-informed addiction treatment services designed specifically for veterans, first responders and their families.


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