Welcoming All

Inclusive Care for the LGBTQ+ 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 LGBTQ+ 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 LGBTQ+ 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. Visitiation 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)

LGBTQ+ 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 LGBTQ+ Task Force

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. Our goal is to lead the way in providing treatment spaces that feel welcoming to all people. We are hopeful that in continuing to educate, raise awareness, and advocate, that we will be able to live in a world where equality is the standard. Nobody should have to struggle alone, and everyone should have the opportunity to recover.

Our Mission:

To create an affirming and inclusive environment for each other and for all patients that reflects and helps build upon a greater cultural shift toward equal rights and access to care.

Goals:

To consistently implement and maintain best practices throughout our system with regard to our mission statement – specifically within the following areas:

  • Treatment/Curriculum
  • Policy
  • Physical environment
  • Walden Culture
  • Community Engagement and Involvement

For more information about how we are enhancing care for the LGBTQ+ community, read our strategic plan.

Team Walden Celebrates “Coming Out Day”

As proud allies, we are proud to foster a community, both for our patients and our employees, that values inclusivity and diversity. For this year’s “National Coming Out Day” some of our amazing employees decided to share their coming out stories in order to help others feel comfortable in doing so for themselves.

Finding LGBTQ+ Specialized Resources in Your Community:

Despite the higher prevalence of eating disorders within the LGBTQ+ population, there’s little evidence-based research on effective treatment practices for this community. This can sometimes make it difficult for healthcare providers to meet the distinct needs of this population.

Walden Behavioral Care strives to provide inclusive treatment and maintain the best practices throughout our Continuum of Care so that no one struggles alone, and everyone is given the opportunity to recover.

Here are some recomended screening questions that may be helpful in finding the top-quality and affirming care you need and deserve:

  1. Do you work with LGBTQ+ people?
  2. What percentage of your practice includes people who identify within the population?
  3. Are the employees in your office trained in trauma-informed care?
  4. What kind of specialized training have you received with regards to the LGBTQ+ community?
  5. What is your experience with people who identify as ________?
  6. Have you or your office participated in any LGBTQ+ community events or celebrations?

Massachusetts Resources:

Connecticut Resources:

Atlanta Resources:

National Resources:

Ally-ing with Walden

Celebrating the LGBTQ+ Community

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Patient Non-Discrimination Policy

It is the policy of Walden Behavioral Care to provide equitable care, without discrimination against or harassment of, any person on the basis of race, age, color, national origin, culture, ethnicity, language, socioeconomic status, citizenship, religion, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, manner of payment or any other non-medically relevant factor or characteristics that are protected by federal or state law.

It is our goal to provide all individuals with specialized support that is personalized for each patient and their unique needs. We are committed to maintaining top-quality, inclusive and affirming care that respects the personal dignity of all people.

This non-discrimination policy extends throughout the Walden Behavioral Care system. Any harassment or discrimination is prohibited and will not be tolerated.

If you have questions regarding our nondiscrimination policies or concerns about possible discrimination or harassment, please report them to Curtis Garry, Human Rights Officer at 781-647-6764 or cgarry@waldenbehavioralcare.com.

You can also file a civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR), electronically through the Office for Civil Rights Complaint Portal, available at ocrportal.hhs.gov/ocr/portal/lobby.jsf, or by mail or phone at:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 200
Independence Avenue, SW Room 509F, HHH Building
Washington, D.C. 20201

Phone: 1-800-368-1019, 800-537-7697 (TDD)