By Mike Baker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The Canadian Mental Health Association of Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge has launched a new program to provide additional community supports for transgender and gender-diverse individuals.
Unveiled on Monday [March 1], the Trans Peer Outreach program will assist transgender and gender-diverse people in improving their quality of life through the provision of “community-based, client-centred care that supports positive interdependence.” Services will be delivered exclusively by individuals who have lived experience as a transgender or gender-diverse person.
The new initiative replaces the local CMHA branch’s Gender Journeys program, which ended on Feb. 26 following a three-year run.
“We feel privileged to have had the opportunity to deliver education and support services for transgender people, gender diverse individuals, people questioning gender identity and their families, partners and loved ones through the Gender Journeys program. We look forward to continuing to support through the new Trans Peer Outreach program,” says Christine Crough, manager of peer initiatives and employment supports with CMHA Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge.
Trans Peer Outreach services, CMHA says, are founded upon the principle that peers can better understand, relate to and support individuals who may have gone through similar experiences. One-to-one peer support can provide assistance in several areas, most notably in reducing isolation, developing wellness tools and strategies, accessing supportive communities, exploring gender identity and coming up with strategies to assist with transitioning.
The program will offer a core support group for people exploring gender identity and expression, which will cover topics such as exploring your sense of self, finding trans-friendly health care and coming out to family, friends and co-workers.
The Trans Peer Outreach Program will serve residents of Haliburton County, as well as Peterborough, the City of Kawartha Lakes and Northumberland County.
For more information, visit cmhahkpr.ca, or contact local Trans Peer Outreach workers Joaquin Santana and Carl Cruise-Baxter by emailing email@example.com.