The 2S/LGBTQ ‘therapeutic spectrum’: Establishing a BC team and research strategy to connect 2S/LGBTQ people with affirming mental health practitioners

Finding affordable and accessible professional mental health support in BC is difficult. It can be even more difficult for Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (2S/LGBTQ) people, who must navigate mental healthcare with uncertainty about professionals’ attitudes toward 2S/LGBTQ identities and expressions. In this project, we will bring together a team of researchers, students, health professionals, and service users to start BC-based research on the spectrum of approaches adopted by mental health professionals in BC to affirm 2S/LGBTQ people. The project is based on our team’s experience with, a mental health service finder that prioritizes 2S/LGBTQ-affirming services. Using MindMapBC, we will invite professionals at various places on this spectrum (e.g. those already adopting affirming practices, and those who wish to adopt affirming practices but do not know how) to tell us what is needed to create more mental health services that meet the needs of 2S/LGBTQ people. We will take what we learn to launch research that further builds our ability to encourage professionals to develop 2S/LGBTQ-affirming practices and communicate these practices to the service users who seek them.

Team members: Meera Dhebar: she/her (Eagle Wellness); A.J. Lowik: they/them (Centre for Gender and Sexual Health Equity); Anita David: she/her; Jessy Dame: he/him (Community-Based Research Centre); Kinnon MacKinnon: he/they (York University); Milo Applejohn: he/they (Simon Fraser University); Miranda Tymoschuk: she/her (Simon Fraser University); Sarah Watt: she/her (Simon Fraser University); Travis Salway: he/him (Simon Fraser University).