Why Inclusivity Matters and What We're Doing about It

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Our ultimate goal is always to help our patients get sober.

Lydia Burr, 2011 graduate, is our director of clinical services in Saint Paul and a driving force behind our inclusivity efforts. We recently spoke about our specialized LGBTQ+ programming, and she explained why these programs are absolutely critical in our mission to help and heal more people.

Why is it important to have LGBTQ+ specific programs?

The LGBTQ+ community deserves a treatment setting where they can heal and feel safe from homophobia/transphobia and other systemic hatred. A lot of community members have trauma to process, their access to health care is often limited, and beyond that, they deserve an inclusive and affirming environment to focus on recovery. And we're absolutely committed to giving them that—and working together to heal.

What makes this program effective?

We tailor the treatment experience to the individual. Of course that's true of our other treatment settings and groups, but this group focuses on problems and topics that are extremely relevant to the LGBTQ+ community and building a system of support from within.

Specific topics include:

  • Gender and sexual identity development
  • Social stigma and discrimination
  • Religious trauma
  • Sexual health and healthy relationships
  • … and more.

Our ultimate goal is always to help our patients get sober. But we want our patients to feel welcome and safe, and to provide a healing environment that’s focused on their long-term health and their specific situations, struggles and needs.

How does the Family Program work?

However you conceive of family and whoever you call home, they're more than welcome to attend our Family Program to learn more about the disease of addiction and how to support a loved one who's addicted.

How's the LGBTQ+ program going so far?

It's phenomenal! The program has been running strong for over three years now, and we've helped countless people and their families find freedom from addiction. We're always looking for ways to improve our services and make them more inclusive—thus our partnership with Rainbow Health—but we're also incredibly proud of the services we already offer and our patients who found their way back to happy and healthy.

Lydia Burr

Director of Clinical Services, Hazelden Betty Ford

Lydia Burr

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