LGBTQ at Columbia Health
Columbia Health is committed to the well-being of all LGBTQ students and offers a wide range of services and support to help meet students’ needs.
LGBTQ students may be reluctant to seek out counseling, treatment or support from health professionals, fearing judgment or misunderstanding. Columbia Health is aware of student concerns and works to be inclusive and welcoming to all students.
Mental Health and Support
Counseling and Psychological Services offers individual counseling, support groups, referrals for longer-term therapy, medication consultations, and emergency consultations. While all of the professionals are qualified to address the full range of student concerns, a specific team of CPS therapists may be especially good matches for LGBTQ students. Counseling and Psychological Services provides access to off-campus mental health services, as well.
Columbia Health sponsors a Coming Out Discussion Group, a supportive environment to think about sexuality, identity, intersectionality, and you. The group meets twice a month.
Queer Academics at Columbia is a monthly discussion group for LGBTQ students from Columbia’s graduate and professional schools. Meet students from other schools and departments, share information about campus resources, and identify and discuss issues relevant to our communities.
The providers at Medical Services are responsive to the healthcare needs of LGBTQ students.
LGBTQ students should expect to feel welcomed by the providers at Medical Services for everyday health care needs, prevention services, acute concerns, as well as for sexual health concerns.
Transgender and other gender nonconforming students may be uncertain whether breast exams, pap smears and other traditionally cisgendered health care procedures are appropriate for them. Columbia Health encourages students to schedule a visit and ask their providers any questions they may have. If a provider doesn’t know the answer right away, they will find the answer and continue to offer you the best, appropriate care.
Good health care often involves questions about sexuality, behavior or identity which are meant to help assess your risk and determine your health needs. Although Medical Services providers are non-judgmental and experienced, students may feel uncomfortable answering questions, and they may say so. Visits with medical providers are covered by patient privacy and protection laws.
Walk-in HIV testing and informational counseling on other sexually transmitted infections is available every weekday through the Gay Health Advocacy Program in John Jay Hall. GHAP Advocates can help you assess your risk and think through reasonable ways to be safer. They can talk with you about other STI testing as well as appropriate vaccines. The service is open to people of all genders and orientations. HIV prevention services at Columbia Health also include the prescribing of Truvada as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for people who are worried they were recently exposed to HIV.
Medical Services and the Insurance Office can help coordinate gender-affirming surgery and hormone therapy for interested transgender or other gender non-conforming students. The Columbia Student Health insurance plan through Aetna includes benefits for both services.
Alice! Health Promotion
Alice! Health Promotion fosters a culture that values and supports the health of students across genders, gender expression, and sexual orientation.
Sexual Violence Response
Sexual Violence Response (SVR) works to end multiple forms of violence against within the LGBTQ+ communities by empowering and supporting survivors and allies through advocacy, connection to resources, prevention, and outreach to the community.
Additional Campus Resources
Resources for LGBTQ students outside of Columbia Health include Trans @ Columbia and a list of LGBTQ student groups, both maintained by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, which strives to create a supportive and inclusive campus environment.