The Gay and Lesbian Center of Long Beach Partners to Provide Substance Abuse Counseling

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substance abuse counseling Behavioral Health Services, Inc. (BHS) a local leader in substance abuse treatment programs, and the Gay and Lesbian Center of Long Beach (The Center) are pleased to announce a partnership that will provide substance abuse counseling and prevention case management services to 18 – 29 year old men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) of color in the Greater Long Beach area.

This will be accomplished through targeted street and internet outreach to the population, education and engagement leading toward testing for HIV and Hepatitis, provision of substance abuse counseling and case management services with a focus on risk reduction related to HIV and viral Hepatitis, and linkage to appropriate medical care and social services to ensure participants the maximum opportunity to decrease/eliminate their use of drugs and alcohol or their potential to contract/transmit HIV.

“BHS has long been a believer in forming strategic partnerships with other community based service providers in order to capitalize on the strengths which already exist within a community to ensure that we are able to provide the highest quality services to our clients. This is why, when we identified the need for a program addressing substance abuse and HIV among this population in Long Beach, we approached The Center – knowing that they have kept their finger on the pulse of this community despite reduced funding for HIV services over the past seven years,” says Henry van Oudheusden, President and Chief Executive Officer of BHS.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with BHS on this important program”, said Ron Sylvester, President and Chairman of The Center. Substance abuse counseling has been a missing piece of our services for years, and we are excited to offer this new program to our community”.

Program services are scheduled to begin in January 2013, and will be provided on site at The Center by staff from both agencies. Other providers who have committed to support services to clients of this program are: St. Mary Medical Center’s CARE Program, Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services – HIV/AIDS Care Coordination Program, and The Children’s Clinic.

Other agencies and individuals who are interested in helping further this work are encouraged to contact John Kirby, Director of Program Development, Behavioral Health Services, Inc. at

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