This Transgender Day of Remembrance, the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) is joining 2SLGBTQ+ allies across the country to shine a light on the realities faced by transgender (trans) people in Canada.
Social conventions that many of us take for granted, such as being addressed by our preferred gender pronoun, can have detrimental mental health effects when not respected. Add to this institutional prejudice, acts of harassment and assault (transphobia), and gender dysphoria, and it’s not surprising that trans people have poorer mental health outcomes than their cisgender counterparts, including a heightened risk of suicide.
To help bridge the gap, the Transgender People and Suicide fact sheet offers guidance on trans mental wellness at the individual and collective levels. It highlights the importance of supportive relationships, gender affirmation (acceptance of name and pronouns), and help seeking.
We know these protective factors are also critical outside of one’s peer group — for instance, when dealing with health-care professionals. The MHCC and Wisdom2Action’s Rainbow Youth Health Forum Report seeks to address this need by outlining strategies to create safer spaces for trans people in health-care settings.
If you are a trans person struggling to cope, reach out to someone you trust. You can also call the Trans Lifeline at 1-877-330-6366 (run by and for trans people), 211, or your local crisis line. Indigenous people across Canada can reach out to the Hope for Wellness Help Line at 1-855-242-3310.
We can all help improve mental health outcomes for trans people. Today, consider what you can do to be a better trans ally — whether that’s using gender-neutral language, standing up against bullying and harassment, or lending a supportive ear. The small actions we take today can help build a safer, more inclusive tomorrow.
Louise Bradley (she/her)
President and CEO, Mental Health Commission of Canada
Mental Health Commission of Canada
613-683-3748 / firstname.lastname@example.org