The Richmond Mental Health Foundation, The Laughing Gull Foundation, and VCU have partnered to create a wide-ranging survey of Richmond’s LGBTQ community, the LGBTQIA+ Needs & Opportunities Assessment, and they need our help.
The Richmond Mental Health Foundation, in collaboration with VCU and Laughing Gull Foundation, have launched a survey of Richmond’s LGBTQ community, the LGBTQIA+ Needs & Opportunities Assessment, and they’re currently seeking participation from LGBTQ-identified individuals, especially those of color, and those who provide services to LGBTQ clients in the Richmond area.
“Individuals that identify as LGBTQIA+, particularly persons of color, face unique challenges to achieving optimal health,” the organization said in a statement accompanying the release of the survey. “If we are to advance health equity in the Richmond region, we must first understand the experiences, needs and services available to our LGBTQIA+ community. We are excited to take this next step in partnership with Laughing Gull and VCU.”
The study will consist of several different components, and interested volunteers are welcome to participate in as many or as few as they are comfortable with. First and foremost is the survey itself, which is online and consists of “a series of questions about the experiences, needs, and services available for the LGBTQIA+ community in the Richmond area.” Respondents are not asked for name or contact info, and the survey is open to all LGBTQ people in the greater Richmond area over the age of 18.
Those interested are also able to participate in focus groups which will, according to the organization, “discuss and respond to a series of questions about experiences and needs of Latinx, African American, senior, youth, or transgender members of the LGBTQIA+ community in the Richmond area.” These group meetings will last around one hour, and will consist of five to 12 other members of the LGBTQ community. Subjects to be discussed in the meeting will include “experiences in the community, the kinds of support that you receive, needs that you see for LGBTQIA+ community and places where you feel safe.” While the meetings will be recorded, names of participants will not be.
For those who do not feel comfortable participating in focus groups, individual interviews are also available, which will offer an opportunity to discuss experiences in more detail than is possible through the Needs Assessment Survey. For those who provide services to LGBTQ clients, there is a separate survey consisting of “questions about the experiences, needs, and services available for the LGBTQIA+ community in the Richmond area.” While names and contact info will not be requested, the survey will request information about the type of services respondents’ organizations provide.
To respond to either the LGBTQIA+ Needs & Opportunities Assessment Survey or the survey for providers to LGBTQ clients, go to the page for the survey on Richmond Mental Health Foundation’s website; links to both surveys can be found there. If you’re interested in participating in focus groups or individual interviews, send an email to Dr. Eli Coston at [email protected]