Adapting Community Health Worker Care Models to Advance Mental Health Services Among LGBTQ Youth

Miya L. Barnett, Hanan Salem, Yessica Green Rosas, Emily Feinberg, Rocio Nunez-Pepen, Andrea Chu, Hana Belmont-Ryu, Em Matsuno, Sarabeth Broder-Fingert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) youth of color experience high rates of mental health disorders, yet they experience challenges to accessing mental health services. Community health worker (CHW) models of care have potential to promote equitable mental health services among LGBTQ youth. Our aim was to understand how CHW models could be adapted to better support LGBTQ youth of color in accessing mental health services. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with LGBTQ youth of color (n = 16), caregivers of LGBTQ youth (n = 11), and CHWs (n = 15) in Massachusetts and California. Interviews were coded by 8 members of the research team. A Rapid Qualitative Analysis was conducted to identify themes. Caregivers, youth, and CHWs all endorsed the value of CHW models for this population. They also almost universally suggested multiple adaptations are needed for the model to be effective. Four main categories of themes emerged related to intervention adaptations: (1) Why adaptations are needed for LGBTQ youth, (2) Who should serve as CHWs providing care, (3) How CHWs should be trained, and (4) What content needs to be included in the intervention. Broadly, findings suggest the relevance of having CHW models for LGBTQ youth of color to address stigma and discrimination experienced, access to culturally and linguistically relevant services, and the need for caregiver support of LGBTQ youth. CHWs need increased training in these areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)658-672
Number of pages15
JournalAdministration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2023


  • Community health worker
  • Equitable care
  • Mental health
  • Racial/ethnic minorities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Adapting Community Health Worker Care Models to Advance Mental Health Services Among LGBTQ Youth'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this