Niagara Pride’s WNY LGBTQ+ Health and Wellness Fair is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 26, from inside the main gym at Niagara County Community College (3111 Saunders Settlement Road, Sanborn). Last year’s event was postponed due to the pandemic.
The WNY LGBTQ+ Health and Wellness Fair coincides this year with national LGBTQ+ Health Awareness Week. Members of the LGBTQ+ community are encouraged to speak openly about their health needs with their providers and, in turn, medical, mental health and addiction community service providers are encouraged to examine their services to ensure their programs are LGBTQ+-affirming, that providers are educated on the unique health needs to LGBTQ+ patients and consumers, and that their practices are embracing of diversity.
Vendors at this year’s WNY LGBTQ+ Health and Wellness Fair include: Alzheimer’s Association of WNY, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Cancer Services Program, Child Advocacy Center of Niagara (Safe Harbour), Eastern Niagara Hospital System, Elderwood Health Plan, Evergreen Health Services, Fidelis Care, GLYS, Horizon Health Services, Housing Opportunities Made Equal, Mental Health Association of Niagara County, MOCHA Buffalo, Niagara County Department of Health, Pinnacle Youth Services, Planned Parenthood of Central and WNY, Red Cross, Save the Michaels, Tobacco Free Roswell Park and WNY Transformation Counseling & Consulting – more than 30 vendors in total.
A press release noted, “Niagara Pride hopes that, by hosting health fairs like this and providing services such as their diversity and inclusion training for businesses and agencies, they can help raise awareness of LGBTQ+ health needs and disparities, as well as end stigma by having local providers offer accessible, affirming and inclusive health care services so that everyone can fully live their truth and a healthy life.”
To that end, Niagara Pride collaborates with community partners to offer the following health and support services:
√ Monthly LGBTQ+ veterans support group and a trans veteran support group in partnership with SAGEVets
√ Addictions recovery support for LGBTQ+ individuals in partnership with Save the Michaels
√ Support and educational resources for parents, families and friends of LGBTQ+ individuals in partnership with PFLAG Buffalo/Niagara
√ Addressing the spiritual needs of the LGBTQ+ community through the collaboration of participating affirming churches and faith-based organizations in the WNY Pride Interfaith Committee
√ Cancer screenings and education in partnership with both the breast and prostate peer education program at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center and the New York State Department of Health’s Cancer Services Program
Niagara Pride has also launched the “Know Your Status” campaign. As part of that program, Niagara Pride will have free condom and sexual wellness items available for distribution at its offices. It also created a website, www.KnowYourStatus.NiagaraPride.org, where individuals can find providers throughout all eight counties of WNY offering HIV and STI testing.