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Pure Curiosity: Dr. Alex Abramovich on LGBTQ+ Youth Homelessness, Suicide Prevention & Mental He

Dr. Alex Abramovich and I were brought together in honor of Canada's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health's campaign "Not Suicide. Not Today." to discuss one of the most vulnerable populations: LGBTQ+ youth. LGBTQ+ youth, and in particular trans youth of color, are at a disproportionately high risk of homelessness, discrimination and suicide. Dr. Abramovich is working on the front lines with shelters, and conducting research to support both the mental and physical wellbeing of LGBTQ+ youth. In this interview we discuss the role families play in homelessness, as well as transphobia, coming out, and the joys of living authentically. It was such a pleasure to speak with Alex and learn about his personal journey and work, and I know you'll enjoy it as well!

About Our Guest

Dr. Alex Abramovitch is an Independent Scientist with the Institute for Mental Health Policy Research: Transgender individuals face higher rates of mental health issues than the general population, including suicide, depression, and substance use– yet trans health continues to be understudied. In the first study of its kind, Dr. Alex Abramovich, an Independent Scientist with the Institute for Mental Health Policy Research, is collecting health care data from up to eight clinics across Ontario in hopes of better understanding how transgender people are accessing mental health care. It’s hoped the study will lead to a greater understanding of how best to intervene to improve mental health outcomes in this population, which still faces significant stigma, discrimination and structural violence.

For additional resources:

1) Families in Transition - a very helpful guide for parents and families of trans youth: https://ctys.org/wp-content/uploads/CTYS-FIT-Families-in-Transition-Guide-2nd-edition.pdf

2) Family Acceptance Project Resources, San Francisco State University: https://familyproject.sfsu.edu/resources

3) Trans Inclusion in Mental Health and Addictions Services: https://amho.ca/wp-content/uploads/Trans-Inclusion-Snapshot_FINAL.pdf

4) The Trevor Project, Resources for supporting LGBTQ2S youth: https://www.thetrevorproject.org/resources/

5) GLAAD Resources for supporting LGBTQ2S populations: https://www.glaad.org/resourcelist

Also, this is a CBC documentary called Transforming Gender from 2016, which features a group of trans folks and families and provides an inside view. Dr. Abramovich is one of the people featured in this film. It's really well done and educational. Here is the link: https://www.cbc.ca/doczone/episodes/transforming-gender

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