S:US Participates in NYC Pride March
We would like to thank staff, friends, family, and people served who represented S:US at the NYC Pride March on June 25. As an organization advancing social justice and creating opportunity for all, our presence illustrates the organization’s commitment to creating a more equitable, inclusive, and affirming space for staff, people served, and our community. This event also ties in the work that we’ve undertaken on LGBTQ-Affirming Program Endorsement from the NYS Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) for our two Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs), S:US’ Wellness Works Clinics in Brooklyn and Harlem.
While we are still waiting on the official endorsement from OASAS, the work the team has done in making the clinics a safer and more welcoming space for the LGBTQ+ community has been an important step towards addressing healthcare disparities in mental health and substance use. The LGBTQ+ community faces many barriers in accessing care and having affirming treatment spaces is one way we can support a population that is at higher risk for substance use, substance use disorders, and mental health concerns.
The benefits of the endorsement application are already realized by way of increased comfort and capability among staff when working with the LGBTQ+ community and changes in the clinic spaces are more welcoming and affirming. We are expanding upon the OASAS endorsement to provide education and training opportunities to all of S:US so that we can better serve the people in our communities, programs, and our LGBTQ+ staff.