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Faculty & Staff Honors

Faculty & Staff Honors

Rutgers: Faculty Receives National Institute of Mental Health Grant to Develop App-Based Support for Young Black Sexual Minority Men Coping with Discrimination

Rutgers School of Public Health assistant professor in the Department of Urban-Global Public Health, Dr. Devin English, has received a National Institute of Mental Health’s Mentored Research Scientist Development Award. The funding will support Dr. English’s efforts to develop and pilot a mobile app-based intervention that provides support for young Black gay, bisexual, and other sexual minority men (SMM) who are coping with intersecting racial and sexual identity discrimination. This research is being done in collaboration with community-based organizations that serve lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning and others (LGBTQ+) communities of color.

Young Black SMM in the United States experience health inequities, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) diagnoses and major depression, at disproportionate rates. According to Dr. English, many current health interventions, such as HIV prevention initiatives, do not consider stress caused by intersecting racial and sexual identity discrimination that may contribute to the health inequities experienced by Black SMM.

The two studies from the grant will focus on addressing health inequities by expanding research on intersectional discrimination among Black SMM, with the goal of reducing the impact of intersecting racial and sexual identity discrimination for young Black SMM.

“Given evidence that stigma targeting young Black SMM leads to the inequities we see in HIV and other illnesses, we must do all that we can to support Black SMM, while pursuing stigma prevention,” said Dr. English. “In particular, there is a need for culturally-relevant, strengths-based, and accessible interventions for these young men.”

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