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208 W 13 St
New York, NY 10011
212.620.7310

Building Hours

Mon–Sat
9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sun
9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

ABOUT HEALTH

The Center provides a range of programs, services and counseling to help our LBGT communities protect and preserve their health. Want to quit smoking? Have questions about insurance enrollment? From wellness and mental health support to coping with substance use or living with HIV and AIDS, The Center is here to help.

CANCER

Lesbians, bisexual women and transgender (LBT) people have a greater concentration of risk factors for breast cancer and other cancers than the general population. The Center offers a range of cancer prevention, education and support services for members of our LBT communities. We understand that LBT people face unique challenges after receiving a cancer diagnosis, and The Center is here to help you navigate those challenges.

We offer:

  • Short-Term Counseling
  • Health & Social Services Referrals
  • Free Screening & Mammograms
  • Education & Prevention Outreach
  • Cultural Competency Training

CANCER SERVICES & SUPPORT GROUPS

The Center’s Lesbian Cancer Initiative offers services to LBT community members, caregivers, partners and loved ones. A cancer diagnosis is a life-changing event, and with it brings many challenges, including education about the disease, financial barriers to treatment and emotional distress. The Center’s groups and services are designed to provide you with the resources, referrals and support that you need.
 
To cope with a cancer diagnosis, you will need the support of family, friends, significant others and community. The Center provides a home for cancer support groups to connect you to others with similar concerns. Groups share information about navigating the medical system, making treatment decisions and coping with the challenges of living with and fighting cancer.
To learn more, or to see when a cancer support group is meeting, please visit The Center’s Community Calendar.
 
VIEW COMMUNITY CALENDAR

THE BREAST & CHEST CARE PROJECT

The Center’s Breast & Chest Care Project (BCCP) offers help to those in our LBT community who are interested in learning about prevention or who are coping with cancer. From learning about ways to reduce your cancer risk, to dealing with a cancer diagnosis, The Center can help you face these challenges. Through the BCCP, we provide a patient navigator to assist you with the day-to-day challenges of engaging with medical systems. We can also help with handling the overwhelming emotions related to pursuing breast or chest care.

Sign up for the LCI monthly e-newsletter for more information on programs and events.

THE CENTER STORY: Cancer

The Center helped me become my own advocate, and fight for what I deserve—access to quality healthcare and screening. Rhonda LCI participant                   

At the Lesbian Cancer Initiative’s (LCI’s) Health & Pleasure Fair last July, staff met a woman named Rhonda, who is a lesbian in her early 60s. Since her retirement (and for the first time in her life), Rhonda does not have insurance—but she does have a family history of cancer. Rhonda had been avoiding treatment because she didn’t know what was available. When she tried to get care at the emergency room, she felt like she was brushed off. Because of this treatment, she preferred not to have screening and decided

to just “let it go” and wait to see whether there were consequences. Upon hearing this, LCI staff sprang into action. Since the fair, The Center has connected Rhonda to the Project Renewal Scan Van for a mammogram, and referred her to the Ralph Lauren Center for a colonoscopy. With LCI guiding her, Rhonda felt she could take these steps to stay healthy, and the services did not cost her a cent.

SMOKING & TOBACCO

Did you know that LGBTQ people are up to 70% more likely to smoke than non-LGBTQ people? Tobacco use remains the number one cause of preventable death, and the LGBTQ community in the United States continues to be disproportionately impacted by smoking.
 
Want to quit smoking? If you have tried to quit over and over again, The Center’s workshops will give you the tools to break the habit, build a support system, develop a plan and finally smoke your last cigarette. Since 1993, The LGBT SmokeFree Project at The Center has been dedicated to helping members of the LGBT community quit smoking for good.
 
From facts about tobacco and cigarettes, cessation support and information about the aggressive marketing tactics of the industry, The Center is here to help when it’s time to quit smoking.

The LGBT SmokeFree Project is supported by:

SMOKING CESSATION

The Center offers programming to help you make the decision to quit, make a plan, and make a date to smoke your last cigarette.
 
Not Quite Ready to Quit is a three-hour workshop that focuses on understanding nicotine addiction, increasing motivation and eliminating roadblocks to making the decision to quit. In order to attend the next tier of groups, Commit to Quit, participants must attend one Not Quite Ready to Quit workshop. Registration is required.
 
The six-week Commit to Quit group helps you develop a quit plan, build a support system and effectively handle relapse pressure after you have quit. One session of Not Quite Ready to Quit is required to participate. Registration is required.


ADVOCACY AND AWARENESS

Flat Phil (short for Philip, as in Morris) is an anti-tobacco campaign featuring a caricature of a tobacco company executive used to raise awareness around the effect of big tobacco on our lives.
 
Flat Phil’s story, facts about tobacco and cigarettes, and links to the social media pages to participate in the campaign are available at nycsmokefree.org/flatphil.

MENTAL HEALTH

The Center recognizes that mental health is a critical component of overall health. From dealing with anxiety and depression to facing bereavement, eating disorders and self-harming behavior, The Center is here to help you face and deal with mental health issues and challenges. Our programs and services can connect you with the resources and support you need to be happy and healthy.
 
We offer:
  • Short-Term Individual Counseling
  • Group Counseling
  • LGBT-Friendly Health Referrals
  • Private Therapy Referrals

DEPRESSION & ANXIETY

Health surveys have found depression to be a leading concern for members of the LGBT communities, in addition to concerns about HIV and substance use. Many find that both living as openly LGBT and living closeted create pressures that affect health. These pressures are influenced by social isolation, strains in family relationships, stigma, homophobia and transphobia. Additionally, health surveys have found that all sexual minority groups reported levels of mood or anxiety disorders that are above those for the heterosexual population.
 
Depression and anxiety are treatable conditions. Getting connected to counseling services and speaking to a mental health professional is an important step towards recovery.

SELF-HARMING BEHAVIORS

Self-harm means injuring your body deliberately in a way that leaves marks or causes damage. It can include cutting, biting, burning, not taking prescribed medications and more. If you deliberately harm yourself, you may be trying to cope with something that you feel you cannot stand any longer. You may want to escape from intense emotions such as rage, loneliness, guilt or from feeling numb. Self-harm may help you to release tension, feel safe again, or feel alive.
 
At The Center, we can help you connect with appropriate resources and get the support you need to develop safe coping mechanisms, and navigate your route to physical and psychological health.

HIV & DEPRESSION

As with other serious illnesses such as cancer, heart disease or stroke, HIV often can be accompanied by depression, an illness that can affect mind, mood, body and behavior. People with HIV, their families and friends, and even their physicians may assume that depressive symptoms are an inevitable reaction to being diagnosed with HIV. But depression is a separate illness that can and should be treated, even when a person is undergoing treatment for HIV or AIDS.
 
To see when a group is meeting, please visit The Center’s Community Calendar.
 
VIEW COMMUNITY CALENDAR

INSURANCE ENROLLMENT

On October 1, 2013, the Affordable Care Act went into effect in New York State, offering insurance options at a range of levels and costs.
 
Interest in the program, called NY State of Health: The Official Health Plan Marketplace, has been high, and we want you to know that you don’t have to figure out which option is best for you and your family on your own.
 
The Center is a designated navigator for the NY State of Health, the health insurance options available through the Affordable Care Act. We provide information and education on the options, and help individuals, families, small businesses and their employees enroll into the program.
Our professional staff is here to help you figure out what plan is right for you, what you can afford and how to complete enrollment. The Center is proud to offer this free service as another step that we’re taking to ensure that everyone in the LGBT community has the tools to live happy and healthy lives.
Call 646.556.9300 or email enroll@gaycenter.org today to set up an appointment.