Redwood City - Today, the San Mateo County LGBTQ Commission presented the first wellness assessment in 15 years of LGBTQ community members of San Mateo County to the Board of Supervisors.

The assessment, conducted in collaboration with Public Health, Policy and Planning, a division of San Mateo County Health, sought to evaluate the attitudes of the County’s LGBTQ residents by deploying online needs assessment surveys in 2017, including different versions for adults and for youth.

“What is clear from these surveys is that San Mateo County has done much to promote a welcoming and safe environment for the LGBTQ community,” said Supervisor Dave Pine, the original Commission sponsor and board liaison. “That said, it is equally clear that much work remains to be done particularly with our youth.”

Findings were collected by the LGBTQ Commission and then provided to the Office of Epidemiology and Evaluation, a program of Public Health, Policy and Planning, for analysis. The adult survey asked questions in the following areas: demographics of respondents; personal economy; housing; discrimination; safety; welcoming environment; social isolation; mental health; and health care. The youth survey addressed similar but slightly different areas: demographics of respondents; sense of belonging; school safety; harassment and assault at school; healthcare; mental health; health habits; access to services; food security; housing security; and violence.

“I feel privileged to live, work in and serve a county whose leadership recognizes that diversity is a strength to be celebrated and cares enough about everyone's wellness to ask tough questions,’ said Craig Wiesner, Co-Chair of the San Mateo County LGBTQ Commission. “Our survey results show that we have a way to go before all who are LGBTQ+, especially our youth, feel truly safe and welcome here, and I'm confident that our efforts in the coming months and years will move the dials in the right direction.”

The findings in these surveys are designed to assist the LGBTQ Commission facilitate structured community conversations in collaboration with Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center to be scheduled in spring 2019, which will then aid the LGBTQ Commission in developing policy recommendations to the Board of Supervisors later this year.

A link to the survey and results is available online here.

Contact: David Burruto (650) 363-4571 dburruto@smcgov.org