Stony Brook Medicine Releases Key Survey Findings on LGBTQ+ Community Health Needs |

Study finds LI LGBTQ+ population at risk of suicide health disparities, adverse health effects

In recognition of National Coming Out Day on October 11 — which raises awareness for people who identify as LGBTQ+ — Stony Brook Medicine (SBM) published the main conclusions of its 2021 LGBTQ+ Health Needs Survey. The study reveals critical information about the health of Long Island’s LGBTQ+ adults (18+), such as:

  • 43.6% of 1,150 respondents rated themselves as having fair to poor mental health

  • 33.5% had thoughts of self-harm and

  • 23.9% had seriously thought about suicide in the past 3 years.

More than a third of people who took part in the study indicated that they suffered from moderate to severe anxiety and/or depression. The survey further revealed that demographic groups, such as transgender people, gender non-conforming, low-income respondents, young adults, blacks and Asians reported having an even higher prevalence of health conditions. behaviours, including intentional self-harm.

The survey represents the collaborative efforts of Stony Brook Medicine, in partnership with more than 30 Long Island-based organizations and community leaders who reach Long Island’s diverse LGBTQ+ community through outreach and the provision of programs and Services.

“Quantitative information on the health care needs of LGBTQ+ people is very limited regionally and nationally,” said Harold L. Paz, MD, MS, executive vice president of health sciences and general manager of Stony Brook University Medicine. “This study provides vital data that can shape the future of LGBTQ+ health care in Nassau and Suffolk counties.”

“The results of the LGBTQ+ Health Needs Survey give members of Long Island’s LGBTQ+ community a voice about their health care experiences and challenges,” said Robert S. Chaloner, executive director of the Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, which together with Stony Brook Medicine oversees the Edie Windsor Health Center which provides LGBTQ+ health services in addition to HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention services. “This information is essential for Long Island health and social service providers, government officials, and public health workers in their efforts to expand and improve programs and advocacy efforts.”

“The top three issues cited by survey respondents were access to behavioral health resources, training health care providers on LGBTQ+ health needs, and access to health insurance that meets the needs of LGBTQ+,” said Allison H. Eliscu, MD, Medical Director of the Teen LGBTQ+ care program at Stony Brook Medicine and the study’s principal investigator. “Respondents also cited violence, bullying and harassment as critical issues facing the community.”

“Long Island’s LGBTQ+ community is diverse. The results of this survey provide a detailed analysis of respondents’ health care experiences, challenges and concerns, as well as excellent insight into the intersectionality of sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ethnicity and income status,” said Gregson H. Pigott, MD, MPH, Commissioner, Suffolk County Department of Health Services. “This information provides a foundation to better understand and serve the LGBTQ+ community, moving toward health equity.”

The LGBTQ+ Health Needs Survey was conducted online and open to all LGBTQ+ adults ages 18 and older, including those questioning their identity, who resided in Nassau or Suffolk counties or were attending a college, university, or technical school on Long Island during the survey period. The survey was anonymous and launched in June 2021 during Pride Month and closed on September 30, 2021. For some of the measures, the experiences of survey respondents varied significantly by group (age, sexual orientation, gender, race, ethnicity and income) in the context of the broader LGBTQ+ community. To view the survey results and access a list of LGBTQ+ resources, visit

Behavioral health

The need for the LGBTQ+ health needs survey became apparent when Stony Brook Medicine began planning, with Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, to expand the Edie Windsor Health Care Center to better meet the needs of health of Long Island’s LGBTQ+ community. Located in Hampton Bays, the Center’s mission is to provide compassionate, quality health care to the LGBTQ+ community in a safe and culturally sensitive environment.

In response to the study, Stony Brook Medicine is making a multi-faceted effort to address key findings. Current efforts include:

Clinical and Support Services

  • Distribution of a directory of Stony Brook Medicine LGBTQ+ care providers available in print and online (

  • Offering private mammography screenings by SBM’s mobile mammography unit with staff trained in LGBTQ+ cultural sensitivity

  • Implement extensive LGBTQ+ cultural sensitivity training for healthcare providers, medical trainees, and community organizations

  • Expand behavioral health support group offerings for teens and young adults

  • Using data to support funding requests for expanded addictions treatment and prevention and mental health services

  • Expand access to and promotion of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV transmission

  • Planning a multidisciplinary adolescent gender-affirming care clinic

Training of regional health personnel, students and trainees

To research

  • Provide partners and other organizations with access to datasets

  • Create a plan to publish community data and share it with other professionals at professional meetings

Community engagement and collaboration

  • Sponsor family events for the LGBTQ+ community, such as the October 11, 2022 Coming Out Day celebration at the Suffolk County Farm in Yaphank and the first-ever Pride Parade in East Hampton

Additionally, Stony Brook Medicine and The Edie Windsor Healthcare Center have:

  • Operated as a monkeypox vaccination site in the East End, administering over 2000 vaccinations to date

  • Expanded counseling and testing services for sexually transmitted diseases, including the provision of support to people who lack the ability to pay

  • Received a grant, along with community partner LI for Youth, to expand counseling services to LGBTQ+ youth

  • Increased mental health counseling services with an on-site licensed clinical social worker

  • Led a hospital-wide campaign to train patient-facing staff to ask patients what name they use and what pronoun they use

The LGBTQ+ Health Needs Assessment Survey Partnership includes:

  • Anu Annam, artist

  • Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County

  • Donna B. Riley, Ph.D, LCSW-R

  • Gina Caggiano, Owner, BTW Bar & Grill, Oceanside

  • Suffolk Economic Opportunity Council (EOC)

  • Edie Windsor Health Center

  • Artist and lawyer Annie Manildoo

  • Artist and lawyer Bella Noche

  • WorshipHer artist and advocate

  • Family and Children’s Association (FCA)

  • The Freedman Center for Clinical Social Work

  • Grove Hotel and Ice Palace Resort, Fire Island

  • Eastern Long Island OLA

  • Pamela Linden, LMSW, Ph.D, Stony Brook University School of Health Technology and Management

  • Planned Parentage Hudson Peconic

  • Long Island Crisis Center – PFY

  • Long Island Council of Student Personnel Administrators (LICSPA)

  • Sister Mary Beth Moore, Corazon De Maria

  • NuBar, Farmingdale

  • Patchogue Arts Council

  • Ricardo Rodriguez, Millennium Homes

  • Riverhead Anti-Bias Working Group

  • SEPA Mujer

  • Southold Anti-Bias Working Group

  • Stony Brook Medicine

  • Stony Brook AIDS Medicine Center

  • Stony Brook Medicine LGBTQ+ Committee

  • Southampton Stony Brook Hospital

  • Stony Brook Medicine Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine

  • Stony Brook Department of Pediatric Medicine

  • Stony Brook University Director of Staff Planning and Development/Office of Student Affairs

  • Stony Brook University LGBTQ+ Services Team

  • Stony Brook University School of Health Technology and Management – Center for Community Engagement and Leadership Development

  • Sister Margaret Smyth, North Fork Spanish Apostolate

  • Stony Brook University – undergraduate and graduate LGBTQ+ students

  • Suffolk County Health Department

  • Suffolk County Legislator – Robert Calarco, President (former)

  • Suffolk County Minority Health Office

  • Suffolk County Human Rights Commission – Rosalind Perdomo-Ayala, Chair

  • Sun River Health

  • Long Island Transgender Resource Center

  • Suffolk Victims Information Bureau (VIBS)

  • Women’s Diversity Network

  • Youth Enrichment Services

  • Nassau and Suffolk Community Members

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