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Student & Alumni Achievements

Student & Alumni Achievements

UNC: Graduate Students Report On Health Impacts Of HB2

A recent report, co-authored by alumni and students of the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health, outlines the physical and mental health impacts of North Carolina’s Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act — commonly known as HB2.

In March 2016, HB2, also known as “the bathroom bill,” became law in North Carolina. Among other things, the statute compelled public facilities with single-gender bathrooms to only allow people of the corresponding birth-certificate sex to use them. HB2 was met with widespread protests, as it raised safety concerns for transgender people who were prevented from using the restroom consistent with their gender.

While the statewide economic ramifications of HB2 have been well-documented, little attention was given to the ways HB2 affected the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) individuals in the state. Recently, the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCCADV) released a report on the health and violence-related impacts of the bill.

Five Department of Health Behavior graduate students from Gillings School contributed to the report as part of their year-long capstone project. Working alongside health behavior alumni Ms. Raye Dooley and Ms. Deena Fulton at NCCADV, the capstone team members researched key questions involving mental health and violence.

Their full report, titled, “Health Impact Assessment of House Bill 2 and House Bill 142 on LQBTQ+ North Carolinians,” was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One primary finding is that, due to HB2, an estimated 1,000–2,000 transgender and gender non-conforming people across the state experienced violence, 5,000 contemplated suicide and 13,000 experienced discrimination.

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