WHAT WE ARE DOING
We are members of the Re:searching for LGBTQ2S+ Health Team of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. With financial support from the Public Health Agency of Canada we developed a workshop to increase health and social service providers' ability to provide trauma-informed care to 2SLGBTQ+ folks. The workshop was piloted across Ontario in Toronto, London, Ottawa, Thunder Bay, Sudbury, Timmins, Kingston and Windsor. It has now been incorporated into the training offered through Rainbow Health Ontario.
The workshop is for multi-disciplinary providers working in healthcare, mental health, social services, and the anti-violence sector. We hope that the training will prevent stigmatization, alienation or the re-traumatization of 2SLGBTQ+ survivors who access support.
This project is important because there is a lot of evidence that 2SLGBTQ+ people are more likely to experience violence and/or trauma than straight or cisgender (i.e., non-trans) people.1 Additionally, 2SLGBTQ+ people face barriers in accessing health and social services as a result of a lack of 2SLGBTQ+ capacity on the part of service providers or the organizations they work within.2,3
Given that many 2SLGBTQ+ people will be in need of support related to experiences of violence/trauma, it is important that organizations and service providers have the ability to skillfully meet the needs of 2SLGBTQ+ people from a trauma-informed lens.
Trauma- and Violence-Informed
We recognize the far-reaching impacts of trauma on individuals and the ways in which service providers and organizations may unintentionally perpetuate trauma.
We are rooted in a strong evidence-base for 2SLGBTQ+ peoples' need for trauma-informed services and an awareness of the barriers 2SLGBTQ+ folks experience in accessing competent healthcare and social services, which contribute to health disparities.
We are committed to meaningful and responsible community engagement in all of our work.
We recognize that research and care delivery have historically (and contemporaneously) harmed 2SLGBTQ+ peoples, and that it is important to include 2SLGBTQ+ peoples in all levels of this project to redress historical and contemporary harms.
We recognize that healthcare and social services are sites of historical and contemporary racism and injustice. We bring an anti-racist lens to our work by encouraging the identification and elimination of racism in systems, organizational structures, policies and practice, and attitudes so that power is redistributed and shared equitably.
We recognize that healthcare and social services have been sites of historical and contemporary colonization and traumatization. We are committed to ensuring that 2SLGBTQ+ Indigenous peoples feel safe and respected while accessing services.
We recognize that the Indigenous concept of Cultural Safety may also apply to non-Indigenous peoples that experience systemic discrimination and violence, such as non-Indigenous LGBTQ+ peoples.
We are committed to an intersectional, anti-oppressive, holistic understanding of health that is attentive to the ways in which an individual's social location can inform their health status and access to services.
We believe that social justice is needed improve the health of diverse 2SLGBTQ+ folks.
1. Roberts, A. L., Austin, S. B., Corliss, H. L., Vandermorris, A. K., & Koenen, K. C. (2010). Pervasive Trauma Exposure Among US Sexual Orientation Minority Adults and Risk of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. American Journal of Public Health, 100:12, 2433-2441.
2. Pilling, M., Howison, M., Bellamy, C., Davidson, L., Frederick, T., Ross, L., McKenzie, K., & Kidd, S. (2017). Fragmented Inclusion: Community Participation and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Queer People with Diagnoses of Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. 87(5), 606-613.
3. Ross, L. E., Gibson, M. F., Daley, A., Steele, L. S., & Williams, C. C. (2018). In spite of the system: A mixed methods analysis of mental health service experiences of LGBTQ people living in poverty in Ontario, Canada. PLoS ONE, 13(8): e0201437.