A friend e-mailed this to me today (see below) and I thought I'd get the word out. If you live in Ontario and you're a lesbian or bisexual woman or trans person of any sexual identity, you can apply to take part in an advisory committee to secure better mental health care for us all. (Wouldn't that be awesome?)
Request for applications for membership on an Advisory Committee for a new Research Project:
Pathways to effective mental health services for LGBT people in Ontario
A research collaboration between Dr. Lori Ross (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health), Dr. Leah Steele (CAMH), Dr. Andrea Daley (York University) and Loralee Gillis (Rainbow Health Ontario), and funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR)
Sexual and gender minority people, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people, are at high risk for depression and other mental health problems as a result of our experiences of discrimination and marginalization. Preliminary research has shown that despite high rates of mental health service use, LGBT people also report high rates of unmet need for mental health care. However, given the limited available data, we dont know whether there are too few services to meet the existing needs or whether service providers dont have skills to serve LGBT people or if both are true. What is clear is that improvements are needed to the mental health system in Ontario in order to ensure the needs of LGBT people are met.
The long-term goals of our research program are to identify and describe the specific barriers encountered by LGBT people in their attempts to access effective mental health services in Ontario, and to use the knowledge gained to inform mental health service delivery to reduce the high rates of depression and other mental health problems for our communities.
In this stage of our research, we will be focused on understanding the experiences of lesbian and bisexual women, and/or trans people from across Ontario. In order to do this, we are building an advisory committee that will be jointly composed of service providers to the LGBT communities (Farzana Doctor, Hershel Russell, Albina Veltman, and other service providers still to be determined), and lesbians, bisexual women, and/or trans people (of any sexual orientation) who have lived experience of the mental health system.
Participation in the Advisory Committee will involve attending 2-3 meetings per year, to be scheduled for dates/times that best suit the majority of members (there is a budget to support travel costs for Advisory Committee members who live outside of Toronto). Between meetings, we will keep in touch by telephone and/or email. Community members on the advisory committee will be given an honorarium for their participation.
At the Advisory Committee meetings, we will:
Share information about the progress of our research, and ask you to in turn share this information with others you are connected with who may be interested in the project.
Ask for your suggestions about various aspects of our research process, including recruitment methods, study design, and instruments.
Share emerging results of the study, and ask for your feedback about our interpretation of the data.
Ask for your suggestions about the best ways to share our results with the broader community of mental health service providers.
Discuss other research questions that we might want to ask of the data we have already collected, or that could be integrated into the ongoing studies.
Plan partnerships for advocacy around additional services or policy changes that our research reveals are needed.
This call for applications is to find five people from diverse communities across the province to join the advisory committee for this project. We are looking specifically for lesbians, bisexual and queer women, and/or trans-identified people (of any sexual orientation) who have lived experience with the mental health system. Due to confidentiality and therapeutic issues only people who are not current or former clients of the service providers on the committee (Farzana Doctor, Hershel Russell, Albina Veltman) will be eligible to apply.
We welcome applications from people with diverse backgrounds and experience, and especially encourage applications from:
· people of colour & people from racialized communities;
· immigrants and refugees;
· Aboriginal and Two Spirit people;
· people whose first language is not English;
· people living with (dis)abilities;
· people living outside of the GTA particularly people from rural and northern areas of the province.
Please prepare a short (1 page or less) letter to answer the following questions:
What would you hope to get out of participating in this project?
What skills and/or experiences (personal or professional) do you feel that you would bring to the project?
Is there anything else you would like to tell us about what attracts you to this project?
We encourage you to include in your application information about your diverse backgrounds and experience.
Please email or mail us your letter, together with a brief résumé if you have one, by 5pm, September 10th to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to:
Social Equity and Health Research Section
Centre for Addiction & Mental Health
455 Spadina Ave. Suite 300
Toronto, ON M5S 2G8
We thank all individuals for their interest, but only short-listed candidates will be contacted for a telephone interview. Please be sure to include a telephone number that we can use to contact you.