Mental Health & Crisis Supports

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If a loved one is struggling with their mental health, resources are listed below. Crisis supports are listed first. Other mental health supports follow.

 

Everyone’s mental health is affected when a loved one is transgender or gender diverse. Parents, family members, children, friends. Counselling is suggested to help support both the transgender person and parents. There are affirming psychologists, psychiatrists and counsellors. You can find personal recommendations through your local support groups, such as Pflag Canada chapters (see Support Groups & Organisations pages).

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CRISIS SUPPORTS

 

LGBTQ2s+ SPECIFIC SUPPORT

 

BRITE  1-844-70-(BRITE)    (1-844-702-7483)

Edmonton.  24 hours  (24/7)

​“Edmonton’s FIRST mental health and wellness help line. A provincial support for the 2SLGBTQ+ community. Times can be tough and now there is a dedicated line for our community.”

Trans Lifeline: Peer Support Hotline

***  CRISIS LINE for Canada:         Ph   877 – 330 – 6366  ***
"Calling is Courageous. Here’s what we want you to know:

  • We don’t define what a crisis is and isn’t, and you don’t need to be in crisis to call.

  • Call us for any reason. You deserve support.

  • Your call will be answered by a trans person.

  • There’s nothing you have to say, or any intake questions you’ll have to answer. We can just talk to you, or we can just listen.

  • If you experience vocal dysphoria, we won’t assume your gender identity.

  • You won’t be asked for any identifying information.

  • We do not call any emergency services, or otherwise break your confidentiality without your explicit request.

Trans Lifeline is a grassroots hotline and microgrants 501(c)(3) non-profit organization offering direct emotional and financial support to trans people in crisis – for the trans community, by the trans community”.  (US)

NOTE FOR FAMILY & FRIENDS:  Call the main number and ask for the Family & Friends Hotline, a service of Trans Lifeline, to see if you can get support.

Bullying Helpline Phone 1-888-456-2323

24 hours, toll-free in Alberta

Transphobic bullying

Alberta Government. Fact sheet.

​​“Transphobia and homophobia often exist hand-in-hand. Transphobic and anti-gay slurs, and trans-bashing are all forms of bullying. Such discrimination is a violation of human rights. In fact, the police may consider transphobic bullying to be a hate incident, which is against the law. If you’re being bullied or if you’ve witnessed such transphobic bullying and didn’t know how to respond, then this fact sheet is for you.”

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ADDITIONAL CRISIS LINES - ALBERTA

Distress Line    780-482-4357 (HELP)

The 24-hours Distress Line is available 7 days a week.    (Edmonton)

Canadian Mental Health Association Edmonton.

“The Distress Line provides confidential, non-judgmental and short-term crisis intervention, emotional support and resources to people in crisis or distress. We also support family, friends and caregivers of people in crisis.”

Crisis Text Line  

You can text   HOME to 741741   to speak to a crisis worker

Canada and US.   (24/7)

”Did you know that if you text HOME to 741741 when you are feeling depressed or suicidal, a crisis worker will text you back immediately and will continue to text with you? Many people especially younger ones don't like talking over the phone and would feel more comfortable texting. This is a free service for anyone!”

211 Alberta

Need Help? Free. Confidential. Live Answer 24/7.

-- Call 2-1-1

-- Text INFO to 211

-- Chat with 211

If you’re having an emergency, call 9-1-1.

           

                      

Distress Centre Calgary (DCC)      Ph 403–266–4357

“…24-hour crisis support in Calgary and southern Alberta since 1970.

We do this through our 24 hour crisis line, email, daily chat, and daily text for our youth. General crisis line available via phone or online, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”

ConnecTeen     Ph 403-264-8336      Text (daily):  587-333-2724

A program of the Distress Centre. Calgary & area.   (24/7)

"ConnecTeen is a confidential peer support service for youth in Calgary and area.  We are a program of the Distress Centre. Being a teen can be tough. You have more independence, responsibility, and stress as a teenager, and you probably have more questions too. We know there are some things you can’t talk to an adult about and there’s probably a lot of things your friends don’t get about you. We can connect you with a peer who understands your unique situation and can help talk you though your issues. We don’t judge. We are here to listen.

    Our service is confidential so no one needs to know you contacted us. If you ever have a question, a problem or just need someone to talk to, give us a call, drop us an email, send us a text or chat with us online."

Southern Alberta Distress Line

403-327-7905  or toll free 1-888-787-2880      (24/7)

Canadian Mental Health Assn, Alberta Southwest Region.

“Available 24 hours, 7 days a week telephone support for people who are in distress and require information, support, intervention, or help accessing referral services.

If all you want is someone to talk to, they are here to listen.

    The trained staff of the Distress Line, operated by the Canadian Mental Health Association, will listen and provide support. They can provide information about support services and can refer you to the right agency.”

Access 24/7, Adult Intake Services

Call 780-424-2424
Anderson Hall at Royal Alexandra Hospital, Edmonton.

“Access 24/7 provides a single point of access to adult addiction and mental health community-based programs. They provide a range of urgent and non-urgent addiction and mental health services including service navigation, screening, assessment, referral, consultation, crisis intervention, outreach and short term stabilization.

      Provides a single point of access to adult addiction and mental health community based programs."


 

Urgent Psychiatric Consultation Program
Program of Access 24/7, Adult Intake Services. Anderson Hall, Royal Alexander Hospital, Edmonton.
“This is a unique clinic that offers 24/7 care to individuals requiring care and connection to our broader community addiction and mental health programs. The Urgent Psychiatric Consultation Clinic (UPCC) provides assessments for patients who self-present or are referred by a primary care or other community provider. The clinic works collaboratively with Centralized Intake, Stabilization, PACT (Police and Crisis teams), Crisis, RPACT (RCMP and Crisis teams) and CREMs (EMS and Crisis) as part of a Unified Urgent Addiction and Mental Health Service.

    This is a zone-wide community program that is currently located at Anderson Hall, which is on the footprint of the Royal Alexander Hospital. The Urgent Psychiatric Consultation Clinic is part of a broader program known as Access 24/7. "

 

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CANADA-WIDE

Trans Lifeline: Peer Support Hotline

* CRISIS LINE for Canada:  Ph 877–330–6366 *
"Calling is Courageous. Here’s what we want you to know:

  • We don’t define what a crisis is and isn’t, and you don’t need to be in crisis to call.

  • Call us for any reason. You deserve support.

  • Your call will be answered by a trans person.

  • There’s nothing you have to say, or any intake questions you’ll have to answer. We can just talk to you, or we can just listen.

  • If you experience vocal dysphoria, we won’t assume your gender identity.

  • You won’t be asked for any identifying information.

  • We do not call any emergency services, or otherwise break your confidentiality without your explicit request.

Trans Lifeline is a grassroots hotline and microgrants 501(c)(3) non-profit organization offering direct emotional and financial support to trans people in crisis – for the trans community, by the trans community”. 

NOTE FOR FAMILY & FRIENDS:  Call the main number and ask for the Family & Friends Hotline, a service of Trans Lifeline, to see if you can get support.

Kids Help Phone

*Ph: 1-800-668-6868  or  TEXT  686868   (Canada)

Watch VIDEO.

Kids Help Phone is Canada’s only 24/7 e-mental health service offering free, confidential support to young people in English and French.
"Need help now? You can reach a professional counsellor at Kids Help Phone 24/7 by calling 1-800-668-6868. You can live chat with a counsellor on their website or call toll-free 1-800-668-6868."

Crisis Text Line  

Text HOME  to 741741

CLICK TO GO TO URGENT HELP

Canada and US.
”Did you know that if you text HOME to 741741 when you are feeling depressed or suicidal, a crisis worker will text you back immediately and will continue to text with you? Many people especially younger ones don't like talking over the phone and would feel more comfortable texting. This is a free service for anyone!”

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​​EDMONTON CLINICS & RESOURCES

The Gender Program

University of Alberta, Edmonton
“The Gender Program helps persons across the age spectrum who feel that their assigned sex at birth is misaligned with their lived gender. The service is an innovative program which offers a multidisciplinary approach to the diagnosis and management of gender dysphoria. It provides comprehensive assessments and facilitates gender-affirming interventions to help individuals lead full comfortable lives.

    This service offers: psychiatry, endocrinology, pediatric and adolescent medicine, and nursing support/ referrals to surgery and other specialties/ information about supports available in the community”
    Referrals to the program can be sent by a doctor, nurse practitioner, psychologist or social worker. Get in touch for information about the wait list and services provided.

Contact by email: genderprogram@ahs.ca  or  phone 780-407-6693

​Publications:

--- Resources for trans and nonbinary children, youth, parents and families. U of A Gender Program. Updated Feb 2020

--- Resources for transgender and non-binary adults. U of A Gender Program. Updated Feb 2020.

LGBTQ+ Wellness Centre (“The Centre”)

NOTE: The LGBTQ+ Wellness Centre in Edmonton has released a statement:

​"Update: February 2022:  The Wellness Centre was launched in September 2020 with the goal of providing crucial services to the 2SLGBTQ population of Edmonton, and the wider community of northern central Alberta, With a humble mix of grant funding, community support, and donations, our nonprofit was able to provide integrated and needed health services to community such as transition support, coordination of surgical referrals and pre and post-op care. We also were able to provide focused care around endocrinology, gynecology, fertility and speech therapy. We responded to the COVID-19 crisis by offering our group and individual psychotherapy services virtually and in person (when safe to do so). 

    The challenges that many community organisations and nonprofits are facing are also being felt at the Wellness Centre. The needs of our community continues, regardless of funding sources, a global pandemic or an uprising of hate and discrimination. We have seen increased levels of stress and struggle for many folks, including those within the healthcare field. While our intent is to meet our clients’ needs and be a pillar of affirmation medical care within our own community, we must recognize when the demand for our services exceed our capacity. Medical staff and doctors are stretched thin across the province, managing an ever changing landscape, medically, politically and socially. With the additional challenges of providing services in-person and/or virtually at a moment's notice due to fluctuating regulation changes, the Wellness Centre  is making some changes to how we operate to ensure the best quality service and care for the patients of the Centre and our community.

    We support our physicians who are choosing to consolidate or transition their practices to their home offices or institutions, where they can continue to offer affirming medical care to our patients. We will be contacting and notifying individuals who have already been admitted at the Wellness Centre where to access follow-up care if your provider has moved. The Wellness Centre is committed to providing affirming transgender care regardless of location, and will make every effort to ensure that there are no gaps in care for patients already seen. Our staff are working hard to ensure that people are connected and directed to necessary, life affirming/saving care.

    We ask for your support in this endeavor by your continued patience as we have a high volume of requests and queries. Over the last 2 years we have seen a large increase of referrals to the Centre. Many of our community members are in need of medical care, crisis support and affirmative spaces. We have seen our waitlist grow and have struggled to meet these needs in our capacity as a non-profit organization. We are putting a hold on referrals at this time and cannot accept new ones at this time. For those who have been referred and are already on the waitlist, we ask for your patience as we work through our current circumstances. 

​    We will be using this time of transition to reassess our current services, policy and procedures to ensure we are staying aligned to our goals, values and the needs of our beloved community. We ask for your continued support of the Wellness Centre. 

As queer folks ourselves, we know that when there is uncertainty, some will have the choice to look the other way or decide the struggle is too much to bare. In the wise words of Frederick Douglass “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.”  We are honoured to be in community with you.

   Patients, community members, and fellow medical practitioners are encouraged to reach out to our interim Executive Director, Linh Lu (they/them), via email at manager@wellnesscentreab.ca, or through a voice memo at our main line, 587-635-3130.

---  The Wellness Centre Team"

Gender Identity
By Family & Community Resource Centre, Alberta Health Services.
--- Resources and support to families

--- Various mental health and medical supports for gender identity concerns

--- Links to ACCESS Mental Health / Trans Lifeline / Kids Help Phone / Calgary Distress Centre

--- Book suggestions

--- Health information on topic of Gender Identity"
 

Trans Wellness Initiative (TWI)
The Trans Wellness Initiative brings community members, community-based organizations, and healthcare providers together to improve the health and well-being for trans and non-binary communities.

The (TWI) website provides access to: 

--- Community education and system navigation resources;

--- Healthcare provider education, and continuing professional development opportunities;

--- Connections between community members and inclusive, knowledgeable providers and services.
    The (TWI) was coordinated by the Community-Based Research Center (CBRC), and made possible due to the work and support of multiple partners and stakeholders (Alberta Trans Health Network, EMHC, Alec Moorji, HIV Edmonton, Pulp and Pixel, Dr. Julia Carter, Dr. Julia Chronopoulos, Tammy Troute-Wood, Dr. Marshall, Renate Braul, Mateo Huezo, Alberta Health Services, the Gender Program, MacEwan Health Clinic, Medi Drugs Millcreek, the Wellness Centre).

CONTACT: If you would like to get in contact with us, please email the addresses below. For any questions, comments, or support, you can contact:
Alec Moorji (he/him), Trans Wellness Initiative Co-Lead. Email: alec.moorji@cbrc.net

OR
Thomas Trombetta (he/him and they/them), Prairies Regional Manager for the Community-Based Research Centre. Email: thomas.trombetta@cbrc.net

Family Resilience Project

Institute for Sexual Minority Studies & Services (iSMSS)
University of Alberta, Faculty of Education, Edmonton.

"Through a partnership with the LGBTQ Wellness Centre, the Family Resilience Project offers free short-term counselling to sexual and gender minority (LGBTQ) children, youth, and families. For information, email iSMSS@ualberta.ca or phone 780.492.0772"
The Institute for Sexual Minority Studies & Services (iSMSS) is a non-profit organization and research institute housed in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta. iSMSS provides educational programs and services to support the 2SLGBTQ+ community and its allies. Through our partnerships with various local Edmonton organizations such as the Pride Centre, LGBTQ+ Wellness Centre, and Altview we provide direct services from mental health support to 2SLGBTQ+ education to the community.

Institute for Sexual Minority Studies & Services (iSMSS)

University of Alberta Faculty of Education, Edmonton.

“The Institute for Sexual Minority Studies & Services (iSMSS) is a non-profit organization and research institute housed in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta. iSMSS provides educational programs and services to support the 2SLGBTQ+ community and its allies. Through our partnerships with various local Edmonton organizations such as the Pride Centre, LGBTQ+ Wellness Centre, and Altview we provide direct services from mental health support to 2SLGBTQ+ education to the community.


 

Counselling

By Chew Project (Edmonton)

“Mental health support for LGBTQ2S+ youth and young adults is provided by CHEW’s Community Mental Health Worker. We also make referrals to other confidential, non-judgmental, and inclusive mental health professionals.”

The CHEW Project. Edmonton
"The CHEW Project’s vision is to provide frontline support, opportunities for health and wellness, and to help find hope for LGBTQ2S+ youth and young adults facing barriers like:  Mental health issues / Violence / Poverty / Homelessness / Substance use issues / Sexual health / issues / Sexual exploitation /sex work / And others…

    CHEW’s team fosters resilience through no cost: Short and long term counselling / crisis and suicide intervention / harm reduction / Social Services (basic needs, clothes, food, referrals to housing, bus tickets, etc) // Cultural connections (Indigenous / newcomer and refugee communities) // STI testing // Support and resources for youth and young adults engaged in survival sex or sex work // Events to develop empowerment and resilience // A physical, safe space for youth to get support and get off the street // Research and advocacy work.
    Simply put, we try and be there in whatever ways we can to help youth and young adults survive, heal, and find hope."

Wellness Network: Peer Navigators
Edmonton & area.
"Here to support people to access the best available mental health and wellness resources. Chat with someone who understands. Peer Navigators are people, with lived experience of mental health challenges, who understand what it’s like to navigate the mental health system, and what it’s like to live with obstacles to your health and wellbeing.

    Peer Navigators provide help, information and navigation of the Wellness Network and other mental health services and supports available in the Edmonton area. You can make your own health and wellness plan with the support of a Peer Navigator. Peer Navigators are an available resource to everyone.

    You can reach out and a Peer Navigator will get back to you or you can come along to the Virtual Wellness Drop-In every Thursday."

"The Wellness Network is a collaboration of community partners with a wide variety of skills and experience, working together to provide individuals and families with options to help achieve optimal wellness. At the Wellness Network, we believe wellness is about improving one’s overall quality of life and striving for balance in all areas. Most recently, we have introduced Recovery College Courses."  To view courses click HERE.
 

​Youth Empowerment and Support Services (YESS)

"Based in Edmonton, Youth Empowerment and Support Services (YESS) provides immediate and low-barrier overnight and day shelter, temporary supportive housing, and individualized wrap-around supports for young people aged 15–24."

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CALGARY & AREA CLINICS & RESOURCES

Access Mental Health – Calgary Zone ** NOTE: non-urgent service **
PHONE:   403-943-1500   (extension 1 for child and adolescent services)

"Clinicians work over the telephone to help people navigate the addiction and mental health system. They are familiar with both Alberta Health Services and community based programs and will explore options and direct/refer clients to the most appropriate resource to meet their needs."

Skipping Stone: Counselling & Mental Health
The Trans Affirming Network of Calgary-based Skipping Stone lists various trans-affirming mental health counsellors in southern Alberta including Calgary, Airdrie, Okotoks and Lethbridge.

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GRAPHIC CREDIT:  @queeeerchameleon

ttps://www.instagram.com/queeeerchameleon/?hl=en

On Bored Panda site.

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MENTAL HEALTH PRACTITIONERS & LIFE COACHES

Psychology Today - Find a Therapist
Psychology Today online search tool.
A good resource to search for a therapist. Can edit search by your criteria. Click on "Issues" to narrow search.
Click to search Alberta therapists.
(Click to search US therapists)

Tamara Gartner, RSW, M.A.

Registered Psychologist
Inclusive Counselling & Consulting Psychological Services, Inc.

#204, 10339-124 Street Edmonton, AB, T5N 3W1 780-424-0783

"My specialization is working with LGBTQ2S+ children, youth, and families. In 2020/2011, I completed an internship with Dr. Warneke (a prominent Gender Psychiatrist) at the Gender Clinic (Grey Nuns Hospital). It was during this internship I realized a passion for this work. I provide support to individuals and families that are experiencing challenges and changes within their lives (i.e., gender identity/dysphoria, sexual orientation, anxiety, depression, internalized homophobia/transphobia, coming to terms/coming out, trauma, self-harming, suicidal ideation). I excel at assisting clients with gender dysphoria/identity/sexual orientation.

    For the past 11 years, 98% of my caseload has been LGBTQ2S+ I work collaboratively to explore clients' needs, navigate systems and refer clients to gender psychiatrists/ endocrinologists (re: hormonal treatment). I have efficiently supported over 25 000 clients with their gender transitions and reaching their subjective authenticity. If you intuitively feel like my bio/specialization may suit your needs, I encourage you to reach out. I am here to support you and will genuinely/comprehensively care for you and your desired goals. It would be my pleasure to spend time collaboratively working alongside you to determine our focus in therapy and create the change you are searching for."

Michelle Gartner-Mall, M.A., R.Psych

Registered Psychologist 

Inclusive Counselling & Consulting Psychological Services, Inc.

#204, 10339-124 Street Edmonton, AB, T5N 3W1 780-424-0783

"I have specialized in supporting sexual and gender minority children, youth, and families. I have experience working with the coming out process, coming to terms, identity confusion, gender dysphoria, parental acceptance, internalized transphobia, bullying/harrassment, family pressures/rejection, stress management, peer relationships, and mental health."

Michelle Kennedy, MC

Registered Psychologist

Ignite Counselling and Wellness Services

9915B – 82 Ave, Edmonton, AB T6E 1Z1
780-701-3454 ext 2. 
EMAIL: michelle@ignitewellness.ca
Has had many clients in the LGBT+ community including trans.

Everyday Anomaly Coaching & Mentorship: Empowering the transgender community

Dean Rasmussen, Coach and blogger.  Grande Prairie, Alberta.

Dean offers coaching, weekly virtual support groups, blogs and podcasts.

“As a trans person and parent of trans kids, I have a unique and valuable perspective to offer you and your family. I believe that life should be intentional, successful and celebrated!

    Everyday Anomaly Coaching and Mentorship grew out of my desire to empower the transgender community and their families. Over the past 4 years I have met a disproportionate number of transgender folks who struggle with loving and accepting themselves. I’ve met numerous parents who want their kids to have the best possible life but aren’t sure how to empower their transgender children. I believe that being transgender is a gift. I believe that the world will have no option but to celebrate transgender and non binary individuals when we are empowered to show up as our truest selves proudly and unapologetically.”

BLOG:               https://everydayanomalycoaching.ca/blog/

FACEBOOK:     https://www.facebook.com/everydayanomalycoaching/

EMAIL:              everydayanomalycoaching@gmail.com            

Instagram:       @everydayanomalycoaching

Tammy Plunkett. Author. Advocate. Advisor.

Speaker, life coach (to parents), author and advocate.  (Alberta)
“Former ICU nurse turned author, coach to parents of transgender children and a mom to a transgender son and 3 other amazing kids, and advocate for all LGBTQIA+.” 

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/TammyPlunkettAuthor/

Websitehttps://www.tammyplunkett.com/

See website for other social media contacts and email address.

Forthcoming book "Beyond pronouns: The essential guide for parents of trans children" will be released on Jun 20, 2022.

"Treatment methods effective for the LGBTQ+ community  

Insight Psychological Services    (Unevaluated)

Offices in Edmonton, Calgary and Red Deer.

Offers:

  • Transformation™, Insight’s Gender Transition Program, offers initial assessment and consultation, medical referrals, and ongoing support to individuals who may be experiencing issues related to gender identity – including any degree of transgender expression, and/or considering SRS (sex reassignment surgery).The program also includes counselling and therapy for individuals and family members who may also experience other concerns such as trauma, sexual abuse, substance use/abuse, relational issues, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts or actions, etc.

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based approach to treatment that focuses on how your thoughts, emotions and beliefs influence your behaviour and how you perceive yourself, others and the world. CBT has been shown to be effective in dealing with anxiety because it helps you to change those negative thoughts, feelings, emotions and projections on a subject matter or circumstance and help you to learn more effective ways of dealing with your anxiety. This approach uses sound techniques to slow down, halt and eliminate your own learned reactions. Ultimately, CBT deals with those circumstances and events that you’re aware of, rather than dealing with circumstances and events relating to your unconscious. Through a sound therapeutic process, you’ll learn to respond differently to issues and circumstances, and you’ll learn healthy coping mechanisms.

  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a form of psychotherapy that was originally developed to alleviate suffering of veterans who were experiencing PTSD. To date, this remarkable therapy has relieved complex symptoms in more than one million sufferers worldwide! EMDR therapy works by having the therapist moves their hand back and forth (like a windshield wiper), while you watch the therapist’s finger (like watching ping pong) while recalling the event. Through the eye movements, the painful incident and feelings are replaced with calmness, feelings of peacefulness and empowerment. It works quickly and may significantly lessen many symptoms of anxiety.

  • Person Centred Therapy approaches tend to create a level of a permissive and noninterventionist climate suggesting that the client knows best, rather than the counselor. Typically nondirective, counselors avoid sharing a lot of personal information about themselves with clients and tend to focus more on reflecting and clarifying the verbal and nonverbal communications that clients express to them. Generally, this humanistic approach tends to believe that people are essentially trustworthy and have a vast potential for understanding themselves while also being able to ultimately resolve their own problems when guided properly."

 

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TRANS LIFELINE:  Family & Friends Hotline

Need help supporting a trans loved one?

"Our Family & Friends Line provides peer support for friends, partners, family members and professionals supporting trans loved ones and community members. We trust trans people as the experts in our own lives, and we resource trans people’s support networks to do the same.

    To access this service, call our main hotline and ask for our 'Family & Friends Line'. The operator will find out the best time to call you back and you will receive a call back from a Family & Friends operator who has lived experience supporting trans people."

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WRITTEN RESOURCES

 

Alberta’s care for transgender kids a ‘broken system,’ say doctors
Physicians call for immediate funding to halt long waits for transgender care for kids
By Jennifer Lee.  Feb 10, 2017. (NOTE: 5 year-old article)

 

Is being trans a mental health disorder?
By Gender Creative Kids, Quebec.
“No, being trans is NOT a mental health disorder.

    'Gender Identity Disorder' (GID), was removed as a psychiatric diagnosis with the release of the DSM-5 in 2013, and removed by the World Health Organization from its diagnostic manual in 2019 after significant criticism from both academics & trans rights activists. While it’s true that trans youth are disproportionately at risk of suffering from mental health issues, these problems are mainly caused by external discrimination. Social and family rejection as well as identity and gender expression-based violence can cause mental health problems, but being trans itself isn’t one.”

LGBTQ youth suicide: Coroner/Medical Examiner Investigative Protocol
By Kent Stewart, Chief Coroner, Saskatchewan, on behalf of The Conference of Chief Coroners and Chief Medical Examiners of Canada and D. Ryan Dyck, Egale Canada Human Rights Trust. (Canada)

​​"At the 2012 annual meeting held in Quebec City, The Conference of Chief Coroners and Chief Medical Examiners of Canada...... agreed to work with Egale Canada Human Rights Trust (ECHRT) to develop a common strategy to identify and document youth suicides that may be related to sexual orientation and/or gender identity."

Mental health and gender affirmation surgery
GRS Montreal blog TransAvenue. June 2020 (Quebec)
“Symptoms of anxiety and depression often mark this difficult journey. This is commonly known as gender dysphoria.”

SPECTRUM Trans and Gender Diverse Mental Health, Wellness and Suicide Prevention Toolkit

SPECTRUM (Waterloo Region's Rainbow Community space) partnered with Wisdom2Action, with a grant from the Canadian Women's Foundation. Oct 2021.  (Ontario)

"In our grant application we noted that, based on the Trans PULSE Study and the local OutLook Study, as well as anecdotal information from our drop-in groups, there was evidence that pre-COVID a large portion of transgender identifying folks in Waterloo Region had not come out of the closet or found that many people in their life were un-supportive or worse, abusive. This in turn subjected these folks to high levels of mental health stress. We recognized that this situation was being aggravated by the isolation due to the COVID-19 public health emergency and the resulting close contact of individuals in un-supportive or abusive environments where they had become a captive audience.

    This was the genesis for our project application for which we had two two primary objectives:

    First, we wanted to develop, publish, and analyse an anonymous community survey asking, among many other things, how COVID-19 isolation was affecting local transgender and non-binary people’s mental and physical health. From this group of respondents, we also wanted to interview a select few to do a deeper dive on mental health challenges. In addition, the Wisdom2Action team conducted an in-depth literature review. The information collected was used to shape the toolkit.

    The second part of this project was to develop a toolkit focused on mental health promotion and suicide prevention to be used by transgender identifying folks (people in crisis), and mental health and medical health professionals and transgender allies (people who support those in crisis). We felt such information organized into a toolkit would be very useful to the community during and after the public health emergency."

Download PDF (booklet) HERE.

​Transgender people and suicide – Fact sheet

By Mental Health Commission of Canada and Centre for Suicide Prevention. Financial contribution from Canadian Mental Health Association and Health Canada. (2020?)
Fact sheet on:

“What can reduce risk.  Warning signs.  What can we all do to help reduce suicide among trans people?  What can trans people do to stay mentally healthy?”
“Transgender (trans) people face unique stressors, including the stress some trans people experience when their gender identity is not affirmed. Trans people also experience higher rates of discrimination and harassment than their cisgender counterparts and, as a result, experience poorer mental health outcomes. They are also at a greater risk for suicide as they are twice as likely to think about and attempt suicide than LGB people (Haas et al., 2011; McNeill et al., 2017; Irwin et al., 2014).”

 

Transgender youth health study reveals ‘alarming’ statistics on mental health
‘These youth are here and they’re no longer going to be silent and invisible,’ says lead researcher
CBC News · Posted: Oct 11, 2017   (Canada)

Wearing a binder:  Physiological effects

By Meaghan Ray. Purple and Green and the Life In Between blog post. Dec 2019.  (Alberta)

“Wearing a binder is sometimes the only way that a person with dysphoria related to having breasts can leave the house. The psychological and emotional impacts of dysphoria are often worse than the physical discomfort from the binder. But that doesn’t mean we should ignore the binder’s effects on our body.”

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Deadnaming: How using the wrong name can affect mental health

Deadnaming is when someone refers to a trans or nonbinary person by a name they no longer use. Here’s how it can affect mental health.

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Written by Andrea Rice for PsychCentral on Nov 5, 2021. Medically reviewed by Francis Kuehnle, MSN, RN-BC.

"For many transgender and nonbinary people, a name change is a powerfully affirming part of living their true gender. It’s an opportunity to choose a name that feels like a better representation of their gender identity.

    After changing their name, many people find that reminders of their old name — typically the name they were given at birth — induces anxiety, gender dysphoria, and a sense of not being seen as their true gender.

    While occasional slip-ups from family and friends are inevitable at the start, if your name, pronouns, or ultimately your identity aren’t respected and used by those around you, it can feel deeply invalidating, with various mental health effects.

    Specifically for trans and nonbinary people, hearing your old name can induce feelings of anxiety, gender dysphoria, and a lack of acceptance. And depending on the situation, it can make you fearful of your safety."

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GRAPHIC CREDITNY Project of Hope

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US & INTERNATIONAL

10 Ways to ‘reach out’ when you’re struggling with your mental health

By Sam Dylan Finch. Let's Queer Things Up! blog post. 2018. Sam is a trans blogger of their site Let's Queer Things Up!

“Reaching out" is this skill we’re somehow expected to know, yet it’s never taught and rarely modeled for us. It’s this vague, hopeful sentiment that people throw around, without ever really defining it. What are we asking people to do or say? It’s not exactly clear.

So I want to get more specific. We need to be more specific.

I don’t know if an article like this could’ve saved my friend. But what I do know is that we need to normalize asking for help and talk about what that might look like, rather than pretending it’s a simple and intuitive thing to do.

Maybe then, we can reach people sooner. We can meet them more compassionately.    And we can find better ways to support them.

So if you’re struggling but you don’t know what to say? I get it.

Let’s talk about it."

2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health

By the Trevor Project.   (US)

"The Trevor Project’s 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health demonstrates that rates of suicidal thoughts have trended upward among LGBTQ young people over the last three years, making our life-saving work all the more important.

    Capturing the experiences of nearly 34,000 LGBTQ youth ages 13 to 24 across the United States, with 45% of respondents being LGBTQ youth of color and 48% being transgender or nonbinary, our fourth annual national survey is one of the most diverse surveys of LGBTQ youth ever conducted.

     These data provide critical insights into some of the unique suicide risk factors faced by LGBTQ youth, top barriers to mental health care, and the negative impacts of COVID-19 and relentless anti-transgender legislation. This research also highlights several ways in which we can all support the LGBTQ young people in our lives—and help prevent suicide."

 

Art therapy with transgender and gender-expansive children and teenagers

By Kelly Darke and Shannon Scott Miller. Nov 2020.  (US)

"An educational and inspirational book that offers practical guidance for art therapists working with transgender and gender-expansive youth and their families. It provides art therapy goals, recommended treatments and coping skills to use with this client group.

    Each chapter looks at how art therapy can address a different concern or aspect of the experience, such as transitioning, bullying, and recognizing or building a support system. It includes detailed case studies and cutting-edge art therapy interventions, which help young people to express the emotions surrounding the discovery of gender identity, the transition process, and self-care.

REVIEW:

If you are an art therapist who finds yourself working with a transgender or gender-expansive child or teen and you need a good foundation to support them, this book is for you! Art Therapy with Transgender and Gender-Expansive Children and Teenagers is an excellent introduction to providing affirming therapy from an art therapy lens. Throughout the text, it is clear Shannon Scott-Miller and Kelly Darke are passionate advocates, art therapists, and educators. They:

* break down complex topics into manageable chunks, making it accessible for the art therapist who has not previously worked with transgender or gender-expansive children and teenagers

* critically look at implicit bias with gender expression and gender identity, giving specific art directives assisting in investigating individual, family and cultural bias in a gentle, yet critically reflexive way

* provide case studies as examples to aid in the learning process integrating ideas of affirming therapy throughout the book

    The developmental stages of gender development and its clinical implications is examined with supporting case studies and references. Gender Dysphoria is highlighted in the text with diverse examples of how art therapy can support treatment. Scott-Miller and Darke look at systems level assessment and support building for the client. Working primarily with transgender clients, I can attest to the importance of assessing for support and the impact of systemic oppression on the mental health of transgender and gender-diverse individuals. (The authors) lay the foundation that is needed for working with gender-expansive and transgender children and teens in art therapy. If you find yourself needing some direction and support in this area, this book is a great place to start.

                          ---- Jennifer Rozell-Whitaker LPC, ATR-BC  (they/them, she/her)

The autistic trans guide to life

By Yenn Purkis & Wenn Lawson. Mar 2021.

"This essential survival guide gives autistic trans and/or non-binary adults all the tools and strategies they need to live as their very best self.

   Blending personal accounts with evidence-based insights and up-to-date information, and written from a perspective of empowerment and self-acceptance, the book promotes pride, strength and authenticity, covering topics including self-advocacy, mental health and camouflaging and masking as well as key moments in life such as coming out or transitioning socially and/or physically.

   Written by two leading autistic trans activists, this book honestly charts what life is like as an autistic trans person and is vital, life-affirming reading."

Counseling transgender and non-binary youth: The essential guide

By Irwin Krieger. 2017.  (US)

“There are growing numbers of youth who identify as transgender, and as a result, clinicians and counselors are in need of an informed resource that covers the basics of gender identity and expression. This book responds to that need by setting out clear advice and support on working with transgender and non-binary youth with regard to their identity, mental health, personal and family life and their medical and social transition as well as offering additional resources and reading lists.
  Along with the basic information needed to understand transgender clients, Irwin Krieger applies this general knowledge to work with transgender teens at what can be the most critical and problematic stage in a trans person's life. Specifically, issues of gender identity awareness and expression for youth along with the mental and physical challenges that puberty presents are discussed. This guide will inform counselors and therapists to support transgender teens in their practice, while providing the necessary tools for opening up the conversation on transgender issues in families and schools.”

    Irwin Krieger, LCSW is a clinical social worker who provided psychotherapy in a private practice setting for LGBT individuals, couples and families for over 30 years. Irwin has worked extensively with transgender teens and adults and their families

    Irwin has presented at the World Professional Assn for Transgender Health Symposium in Atlanta, the US Professional Assn for Transgender Health Symposium in Los Angeles, the Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference, and the Maine Academy of Family Physicians. University presentations include Yale, Quinnipiac, Ursinus, University of Hartford and UConn. Irwin was the keynote speaker at the GSA Summit at Eastern CT State University in the fall of 2011, the CT School Counselors Conference in 2017, the GeMS Conferences at Boston Children’s Hospital in 2013 and 2015, and Transgender Family Day at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital in 2017. From 2012 to 2016 he was a consultant for the Transgender Care Team at Yale Health Plan.

Gender affirmative model: An interdisciplinary approach to supporting transgender and gender expansive children

By Colt Keo-meier. Edited by Diane Ehrensaft. 2018.  (US)

"This warm and timely book provides mental health professionals with a guide to the Gender Affirmative Model, the leading approach for working with transgender and gender expansive children and their families. Using an easy-to-follow framework, readers will learn how to facilitate and enable children to live in their authentic gender with necessary social supports.

    The authors describe how to address distress and build resilience within children and families, while also strengthening awareness of the complex interplay of cultural factors with gender. They also address the complex psychological, social and community challenges faced by transgender and gender expansive children, as well as the potential mental health struggles that can arise as a result of bullying and more subtle forms of societal discrimination."

Gender-affirming surgery linked to better mental health in transgender people

By Jessica Cerretani.  Boston Children’s Hospital. Posted on May 2021.  (US)

“Now, results of a new study show what a number of researchers, clinicians, and trans patients already suspected: Gender-affirming surgery is associated with better mental health.

    To learn more about the relationship between gender-affirming surgery and psychological well-being, Anthony Almazan, a fourth-year medical student at Harvard Medical School, and Dr. Alex Keuroghlian of The Fenway Institute reviewed data from 27,715 trans and gender-diverse adults who were part of the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, the largest set of information on this population.“

Let's Queer Things Up!  - LGBTQ

By Sam Dylan Finch. Blog.

This link is to Sam's LGBTQ-related blogs. Sam also blogs about mental illness.

"I’m a 29-year-old writer and positive psychology practitioner, living in Portland, Oregon. He or they pronouns are fine by me! I started Let’s Queer Things Up! years ago, hoping to empower LGBTQ+ people to take command of their mental health. LQTU is equal parts advice blog and personal journey; I’ve written about everything from body image, to ADHD hacks, to the simple joys of life 'after recovery'.”

Most gender dysphoria established by age 7, study finds
Cedars Sinai, June 2020. (US)
“Cedars-Sinai research reveals health impact on transgender people from lack of early support and intervention”

National survey on LGBTQ youth mental health 2020
By The Trevor Project. (US)
“Building on the findings of our inaugural survey, it provides critical insights around LGBTQ youth mental health disparities, discrimination, housing instability, barriers to affirming health care, subjection to conversion therapy, and suicide. The survey also highlights how safe spaces and social support positively impact the well-being of LGBTQ youth. Representing the experiences of over 40,000 LGBTQ youth ages 13-24 across the United States, it is the largest survey of LGBTQ youth mental health ever conducted.

    This wealth of data highlights the resiliency and diversity of LGBTQ young people and demonstrates how important affirming one’s identity is to their health and wellness. Findings from this cross-sectional survey also point to best practices for how to support LGBTQ young people and contribute positively to their mental health.“

Supporting transgender autistic youth and adults:  A guide for professionals and families

By Finn V. Gratton. Oct 2019.  (US)

"Providing advice on how professionals working with autistic trans youth and adults can tailor their practice to best serve their clients and how parents can support their trans autistic children, this book increases awareness of the large overlap between trans identities and autism.

    By including chapters on gender diversity basics, neuroqueer trauma and how to support neuroqueer individuals, this book sets out strategies for creating more effective support that takes into account the unique experiences of trans people on the spectrum.

    Written by a therapist who identifies as neuroqueer, this book is the perfect companion for professionals who want to increase their knowledge of the experiences and needs of their trans autistic clients."

Trans and autistic: Stories from life at the intersection

By Noah Adams and Bridget Liang. Jul 2020.

"This ground-breaking book foregrounds the voices of autistic trans people as they speak candidly about how their autism and gender identity intersects and the impact this has on their life.
    Drawing upon a wealth of interviews with transgender people on the autism spectrum, the book explores experiences of coming out, with self-discovery, healthcare, family, work, religion and community support, to help dispel common misunderstandings around gender identity and autism, whilst allowing autistic trans people to see their own neurodiverse experiences reflected in these interviews.
    An incisive introduction clearly sets out up-to-date research and thinking, before each chapter draws together key findings from the interviews, along with advice and support for those providing support to autistic trans individuals. Both accessible and authoritative, Trans and Autistic is an essential publication for autistic trans people, their families, and professionals wanting to understand and support their clients better."

 

The trans self-care workbook:  A coloring book and journal for trans and non-binary people

By Theo Lorenz. Oct 2020.  (US)

Theo is non-binary and uses they/them pronouns. 

“If you're transgender, non-binary, or any other gender under the wide and wonderful trans umbrella, this book is for you. A creative journal and workbook with a difference, this book combines coloring pages celebrating trans identity, beauty and relationships, with practical advice, journaling prompts and space for reflection to promote self-affirmation and wellbeing.
  Drawing on CBT and mindfulness techniques, the book covers topics including body positivity and neutrality, coming out, euphoria and dysphoria, building new friendships and navigating relationships with your friends and family, and is the go-to resource for anybody who has ever felt the pressure to conform to a singular definition or narrative.
  Theo Nicole Lorenz's heart-warming and empowering illustrations of trans people will provide reassurance that you are never alone, and are a reminder to always treat yourself kindly.”

---- The Trans Self-Care Workbook is the warm, consensual hug of affirmation that every trans and nonbinary person needs. Wisdom and insight about being trans is accompanied by beautiful illustrations. No matter whether you are exploring your gender or you have been out for a long time, this workbook will be a loving gift to yourself.  ----Dr. Alex Iantaffi, Author of How To Understand Your Gender; Life Isn't Binary; and Gender Trauma
---- From the first comforting page to the last joyous exercise, the Trans Self-Care Workbook will help you to discover more about the trans movement and your own heart. Page after page invites you build a kind accepting relationship with yourself. What a glorious journey!   ----Jeffrey Marsh, the first nonbinary activist on national TV, and author of the bestselling How To Be You
---- Theo Lorenz's Trans Self-Care Workbook is just the gentle friend and fierce ally that you need to guide you through your gender journey. Packed with beautiful pics to colour and awesome activities, the book covers everything from navigating dysphoria and euphoria, to coming out, to finding community. Theo's kind humour comes through on every page, reminding us that we're all trans enough, that wherever we are on our journey is okay, and that however tough it can be at times, we will get through this. I have so much love for this book.   ----Meg-John Barker, co-author of How to Understand Your Gender, Life Isn't Binary, and Hell Yeah Self-Care

 

​Transgender and gender-diverse individuals are more likely to be autistic and report higher autistic traits
By a team of researchers at the University of Cambridge. 2020.  (UK)

 

Transgender mental health

By Eric Yarbrough MD. (psychiatrist). Book. 2018.   (US)

"Societal awareness of transgender and gender-nonconforming (TGNC) individuals is greater now than at any point in history, owing to the education of policy makers by advocacy organizations, the education of clinicians by research and scientific organizations, and the education of the general public by movies, television, and other media. However, most professional training programs for mental health professionals provide little to no education regarding gender diversity.

    Transgender Mental Health squarely addresses this deficit. This guide forgoes clinical jargon in favor of accessible, straightforward language designed to educate clinicians on how to address the basic needs of the TGNC community, thus increasing access to mental health care for TGNC individuals, which has been sorely lacking to this point.

    Rich in cases drawn from real clinical experience, the guide is organized into four sections.

• The first section includes a discussion of the gender spectrum and offers a history of the TGNC experience. This section also covers advocacy, particularly letter writing for gender marker changes and gender-affirming surgeries.

• The second section is dedicated to mental health factors in TGNC care and examines sex and sexuality, support systems, and transitioning and detransitioning.

• The third of the guide's sections addresses general physical health with TGNC individuals, including masculinizing and feminizing hormones, with an eye toward preparing practitioners to address the social, psychological, and physical needs of their patients.

• The final section discusses all major gender-affirming surgical procedures, as well as nonsurgical interventions.

   Each chapter includes summarizing key points and review questions at the end that not only test the reader's comprehension of the material but also provide additional information on the complicated political, social, and cultural barriers that many TGNC individuals experience as they attempt to secure adequate care.

Relevant for a range of mental health professionals, including psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, psychologists, social workers, family therapists, and school counselors, Transgender Mental Health is a simple yet thorough primer on the complex topic of gender diversity."

About Eric Yarbrough"I...completed my psychiatry residency at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital in New York City.  Although I work with anyone, my career goals have been focused on the LGBTQ population serving both as president of AGLP: The Association of LGBTQ Psychiatrists and Director of Psychiatry at Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, one of the largest LGBTQ Medical Centers in the world."

The Trevor Project

* NOTE: Crisis phone lines NOT available in Canada – go to:   TransLifeline Hotline  or  Kids Help Phone *

”The Trevor Project is the leading [US] organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25.”  The ​Resource Page has good information.

​Warning signs of suicide.  Learning the warning signs of suicide is a huge part of preventing a crisis.
By The Trevor Project. (US)
“Although emotional ups and downs are normal, sometimes a person who is suicidal gives certain signs or hints that something is wrong. Knowing these major warning signs can help you connect someone you care about to support if they need it – even if that person is yourself.

Preventing suicide:

*   Learn the warning signs, the facts, and how you can help prevent suicide

*   Well-being on Instagram

*   Guide to being an ally to transgender and non-binary youth

*   How LGBTQ youth can cope with anxiety and stress during COVID-19

*   Supporting black LGBTQ youth mental health

*   Black and LGBTQ: Approaching intersectional conversations."

What is gender dysphoria?
Written by Kimberly Holland.  Medically reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, Ph.D., CRNP.  2018.  (US)

 

​Yes I have a mental disorder.  But it’s not being transgender.
By Sam Dylan Finch. “Let’s Queer Things Up!”  blog post.  2018

Interests:  Queer/Trans Identity, Mental Health, Cats.

Young adult psychological outcome after puberty suppression and gender reassignment
By Annelou L.C. de Vries, Jenifer K. McGuire, Thomas D. Steensma, Eva C.F. Wagenaar, Theo A.H. Doreleijers and Peggy T. Cohen-Kettenis.
Published in Pediatrics October 2014, 134 (4) 696-704; DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1542/peds. 2013-2958
“Conclusions: A clinical protocol of a multidisciplinary team with mental health professionals, physicians, and surgeons, including puberty suppression, followed by cross-sex hormones and gender reassignment surgery, provides gender dysphoric youth who seek gender reassignment from early puberty on, the opportunity to develop into well-functioning young adults.”

 

​Your transgender child needs a therapist — And so do you
“The importance of your mental health should not be underestimated”
By Zada Kent.  July 25, 2020

"Ask your kid’s therapist about parent resources. It’s okay to be choosy when finding a doctor because your kid has specific needs that must be addressed. And often these providers can offer resources for parents as well.

    Dr. M’s practice offers group therapy sessions for the kids, as well as a separate group for parents. This has been invaluable for me. There’s a calm relief you experience when you realize you’re not alone in the plethora of feelings that bombard a parent of a transgender child.

    Parenting can be difficult at the best of times. Having a group moderated by a mental health care professional who is familiar with your concerns is pivotal in keeping anxiety, overwhelm, and excessive worry at bay. It’s also helpful to hear how other families deal with specifics surrounding their kids’ health and transitions, as well as navigating the social world we live in. I’ve made many friends because of this group who I can reach out to when I need a little support from someone who understands."

 

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