Inclusive Care for the LGBTQIA+ Community
“Plain and simple; we believe in the dignity of all people. Until everyone is treated equally, our work is not done.” – Stu Koman, Founder and CEO
As passionate allies, we value all that makes you, you. As such, we are dedicated to providing specialized support for the LGBTQIA+ community and in ensuring that our treatment spaces reflect the unique needs of our diverse patient population. No matter your age, gender, sexual orientation, who you are or where you’ve come from, we welcome you.
At Walden Behavioral Care we believe…
- That all people deserve to exist in a world that values them as equals.
- That receiving medical and psychological care in an environment that feels safe and welcoming should be a right as opposed to a privilege (See anti-discrimination policy below)
- In celebrating individuality and advocating for equality
- In listening to, honoring and elevating the voices of the LGBTQIA+ community
- In explicit welcomes.
- That a world can exist where all human beings can live wholly and peacefully regardless of who they are or who they love.
- In leading by example – we may be a small ripple in a vast ocean, but together, we can cultivate an inclusive world for all.
At Walden Behavioral Care you have the right to…
- Designate a healthcare proxy of your choosing (regardless of marital status, gender identity or sexual orientation)
- Receive full and equal visitation privileges Visitation Policy: It is the policy of Walden Behavioral Care to promote patient-centered care while maintaining appropriate therapeutic activity and without compromising the safety of patients, staff and visitors. Walden Behavioral Care is committed to ensuring that all visitors enjoy full and equal visitation privileges consistent with patient preferences and will not restrict, limit, or deny visitation privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation or disability. Visitation Policy Purpose: To support patient success by allowing visitation from individuals with whom they have designated which can include but is not limited to, spouses, domestic/life partners (including same-sex domestic/life partners), family members and friends.
- Equal and non-discriminative care (See our non-discrimination policy at the bottom of this page)
LGBTQIA+ Community and Eating Disorders
Unfortunately, individuals identifying within the LGBTQ+ population experience unique stressors that can place them at higher risk for developing body image disturbances and/or eating disorders.
Some of these factors can include increased incidences of depression, bullying and the experience of incongruity between one’s sex assigned at birth and gender identity. The Trevor Project found that more than 50% of LGBTQ+ youths who participated in a national survey had been diagnosed with an eating disorder, and of those individuals 58% had contemplated suicide. Research has also shown that, beginning as early as 12, gay, lesbian, and bisexual teens may be at higher risk of binge-eating and purging than heterosexual peers (NEDA).
To learn more, check out our infographic.
Walden’s DEI Group
Walden Behavioral Care’s LGBTQ+ Task Force started in 2018 as a way for us to continue providing top-quality, patient-centered support to all those in our care. As we began seeing a more diverse community of patients in need of specialized eating disorder support we wanted to strengthen our efforts in providing an explicitly welcoming healing and working environment to the LGBTQ+ community.
That task force has become Walden’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Group.
Walden’s DEI Group Purpose and Philosophy
Our world is one of great diversity in gender, race, culture, sexual orientation, values, hopes, and dreams. At Walden, we see our diversity as a strength, and the individuality we each contribute toward the greater good makes us stronger together. We know that having varied perspectives helps generate better ideas to solve the complex problems of a changing and ever increasingly diverse world. This belief is central to our mission and to the impact we have on our clients and their families. Our commitment to these values is unwavering across all of our work and through our entire system of care.