LGBTQ+ Mental Health

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About the December 16 forum

This forum is designed increase awareness around LGBTQ+ mental health. Three experts who specialize in LGBTQ+ mental health will give short presentations and then engage in a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Koenen. Dr. Gerald Davison, Professor of Psychology at the University of Southern California will present on the ethics and politics of sexual reorientation therapy. Dr. Meyer will present on the minority stress model of health disparities in LGBT people and what we know about its applicability to today’s generation, in view of the many improvements in the legal and social environment for LGBT people. Dr. Meyer is a Williams Distinguished Senior Scholar of Public Policy, School of Law and is Adjunct Professor of Public Health at the Fielding School of Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles. Finally, Dr. Katz-Wise will present of transgender youth and families. Dr. Katz-Wise is an Assistant Professor at Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health as well as the Co-Director of Harvard SOGIE (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression) Health Equity Research Collaborative.

Watch the event

Forum materials

Dr. Davison: The Ethics and Politics of Sexual Reorientation Therapy

Dr. Katz-Wise- Transgender and Gender Diverse Youth and Families

Studies cited by Dr. Meyer:

Generations Study

U.S. Transgender Population Health Survey

Sexual Orientation Change Efforts, Adverse Childhood Experiences, and Suicide Ideation and Attempt Among Sexual Minority Adults

Suicide Thoughts and Attempts Among Transgender Adults

The Role of Help-Seeking in Preventing Suicide Attempts Among Lesbians, Gay Men, and Bisexuals

Speaker bios

Photo of Gerald DavisonGerald Davison, Phd is Professor of Psychology at the University of Southern California.  He received his B.A. from Harvard in 1961 and his Ph.D. from Stanford in 1965.  He is a past-president of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies and a Distinguished Founding Fellow and Certified Supervisor of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy.  He has also served as president of the clinical division of the American Psychological Association and as chair of the board of directors of the Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology.  Among his more than 150 publications, his book Clinical Behavior Therapy, co-authored in 1976 with Marvin Goldfried and reissued in expanded form in 1994, is one of his two publications that have been recognized as Citation Classics by the Social Sciences Citation Index.  His textbook Abnormal Psychology, co-authored with John Neale and translated into many languages, has been a widely used abnormal text in North America and around the world.  Among his many awards is the 2010 Evelyn Hooker Award for Distinguished Contribution by an Ally from APA Division 44, Society for the Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity: and in 2020 he was given the Clinical Science Visionary Award from the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology.  His publications emphasize experimental and philosophical analyses of psychopathology, assessment, and therapeutic change.

Photo of Ilan MeyerIlan Meyer, Phd is Distinguished Senior Scholar for Public Policy at the Williams Institute for Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy at UCLA’s School of Law, Adjunct Professor in Community Health Sciences at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, and Professor Emeritus of Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University. Dr. Meyer studies public health issues related to minority health. His areas of research include stress and illness in minority populations, in particular, the relationship of minority status, minority identity, prejudice and discrimination and mental health outcomes in sexual minorities and the intersection of minority stressors related to sexual orientation, race/ethnicity and gender.  In several highly cited papers, Dr. Meyer has developed a model of minority stress that describes the relationship of social stressors and mental disorders and helps to explain LGBT health disparities.  The model has guided his and other investigators’ population research on LGBT health disparities by identifying the mechanisms by which social stressors impact health and describing the harm to LGBT people from prejudice and stigma.  Dr. Meyer is Principal Investigator of two important studies, the Generations Study, a study of stress, identity, health, and health care utilization across three cohorts of lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals in the United States (NICHD grant 1R01HD078526). The TransPop study, the first national probability sample of transgender individuals in the U.S. (NICHD grant 1R01HD078526). The study results will provide a more accurate and detailed picture of the issues faced by transgender people than has been available to researchers and policy makers to date.

Photo of Sabra Katz-WiseSabra Katz-Wise, Phd is an Assistant Professor in Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH), in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School (HMS), and in Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH).  She also co-directs the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Research Group at BCH and HSPH.

Dr. Katz-Wise’s research investigates sexual orientation and gender identity development, sexual fluidity, health inequities related to sexual orientation and gender identity in adolescents and young adults, and psychosocial functioning in families with transgender youth.  She is currently working on an NIH-funded community-based study to examine how the family environment affects the health and well-being of transgender youth and to develop an intervention to support families with transgender youth.

In addition to research, Dr. Katz-Wise is involved with advocacy efforts at BCH to improve the workplace climate and patient care for LGBTQ individuals, including her role as co-chair for the BCH Rainbow Consortium on Sexual and Gender Diversity.  She also serves on the HMS LGBT Advisory Committee and is a HMS Sexual and Gender Minority Curriculum Development Fellow.  Dr. Katz-Wise co-founded the Alliance of Gender Affirming Professionals (AGAP), a group for professionals and trainees in greater Boston who work with transgender youth and families.