LGBT in B.C.: Three virtual conferences to address various mental-health topics

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      Much attention has turned toward mental-health issues, which have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

      In addition, numerous studies have revealed that the pandemic has particularly had an adverse impact upon individuals from marginalized and minority groups. 

      Many LGBT+ people are experiencing pandemic-related health issues in addition to queer-specific issues, such as discrimination (whether overt, covert, or systemic) or challenges in finding services that adequately serve their needs.   

      For those interested in learning about or discussing queer mental health, here are a few upcoming virtual events that address a variety of topics.

      HIM presents: Intersections

      Here’s a program intended for those from minority or marginalized communities who feel that their experiences aren’t reflected or represented in mental health.

      Health Initiative for Men (HIM) is launching a pilot program for queer, trans, Black, Indigenous, and people of colour youths (ages 19 to 29) to learn about and discuss mental health issues.

      Accordingly, this two-weekend program will provide participants with the opportunity to discuss how their identities influence understanding of mental health and also exchange ideas about taking care of ourselves and our communities.

      Workshops and discussions will cover subjects such as assertiveness, communication, mindfulness, shame, body image, two-spirit healing and teachings, suicide prevention, and self-care.

      The program will be held both in-person in Vancouver (while following health measures) and online on March 27 to 28 and April 3 to 4.

      Those who are interested in the program can send an email to HIM.

      Menscapes

      The 7th annual Menscapes conference, held by the Men’s Wellness Program at AVI Health and Community Services (formerly AIDS Vancouver Island), will address queer male health and wellness, organized around the theme of nurture culture.

      It’ll be held online (on Zoom) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day on March 26 to 27 and is intended for those living on Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands.

      A counsellor will be available for any issues that arise.

      The conference is free to attend. For more information and to register, visit the event webpage.

      Queering Mental Health speakers (left to right): Monique Gray Smith, Tera Greene, and Shadi

      Queering Mental Health: A Canadian Perspective

      The therapy collective Our Landing Place is holding a national virtual conference to discuss queer mental health issues in Canada.

      The speaker lineup will cover a wide range of topics, including serving trans clients, non-monogamy, healing, older adults during the pandemic, spirituality and religion, partner violence, and psychedelics.

      Although the focus is on Canadian experiences, international attendees are welcome too.

      It’ll run from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. PT on April 21, and attendees have the option to either join the conference live or watch recordings for up to three months after the conference (and will be downloadable).

      Tickets are $150 (a $50 promo code discount is available until March 15, after which it will drop to $25 off). For more information or to register, visit this event webpage

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