The statistics are staggering. According to recent a study by The Trevor Project:

  • 70% of LGBTQ youth reported their mental health suffered during the pandemic.
  • 42% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, including more than half of transgender and gender nonbinary (TGNB) youth.
  • 75% of LGBTQ youth reported that they had experienced discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identify at least once in their lifetime.

To better serve members of the LGBTQ community with life-affirming services, Spectrum Health and Human Services is conducting assessments and providing additional services to individuals seeking gender-affirming hormone therapy and gender-affirming surgery. These services will be provided at Spectrum Health’s Southtowns Counseling Center at 326 Orchard Park Rd. in West Seneca.

“This assessment process includes a comprehensive behavioral health assessment and referral letter to the individual’s chosen health care provider if appropriate,” said Jessica Okoniewski, Clinical Director at this location. “Individuals may also decide to receive services for ongoing support and treatment.”

As an all-inclusive, trauma-informed agency, this additional service fills a critical a gap in care for LGBTQ individuals. “We are very fortunate to be able to offer this service to individuals in our community, said Cindy Voelker, associate CEO. “Our staff saw the need for this service and is committed to providing all individuals with the best possible care in an accepting and safe environment.”

Individuals seeking service are invited to call Spectrum Health at 716 539 5500 or visit to schedule an appointment.

Spectrum Health & Human Services is a Certified Community Behavioral Health Center (CCBHC) providing mental health, addiction, ACT, rehabilitation, care coordination, housing and crisis services in locations throughout Western New York. Spectrum Health promotes hope, empowerment and self-defined improvements to adults, children, and families as they recover from behavioral and/or addiction-related disorders. Visit for more information.