What is MindMapBC?
MindMapBC is a custom-made database of outpatient mental health services including professional counseling, peer counseling, support groups, and others. Where possible, we have selected services that are free, low-cost, or sliding scale, and self-referral services—meaning you do not need to see a doctor before accessing the service.
Why was MindMap made?
MindMap is motivated by research showing high rates of mental health concerns among people accessing sexual health services in Greater Vancouver. We heard from both community members and health care providers that it can be difficult to find mental health services, especially those that are affirming of 2S/LGBTQ+* (Two-Spirit, as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, and other gender- and sexually-diverse) people.
*We place 2S at the start of the term 2S/LGBTQ+, following the teachings of our Two-Spirit colleagues and community leaders: https://twospiritjournal.com/?p=1054.
How was MindMap developed?
We drew resources from numerous existing public databases, including:
• BC211, http://www.bc211.ca/
• HeretoHelp, http://www.heretohelp.bc.ca/
• HealthLink, https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/services-and-resources/find-services
• Health Initiative for Men’s Take Time for your Mind, http://checkhimout.ca/mind/
We then contacted organizations to ask them about location, types of services, eligibility criteria, referral and intake processes, accessibility, languages spoken, and experience with 2S/LGBTQ+ communities. Where this information was provided, we have included it in MindMap.
We did not include individual private practitioners unless they focused their practice on providing sexual or gender minority-affirming care. Those interested in finding individual practitioners (often fee-for-service) can look at these online databases:
BC Association of Clinical Counsellors, https://bc-counsellors.org/counsellors/
BC Psychological Association, https://www.psychologists.bc.ca/find_psychologist
How did you decide which services to include?
MindMap was developed acknowledging that 2S/LGBTQ+ people face particular barriers in finding mental health services that are affirming of their sexual orientations and gender identities, in addition to barriers that are commonly experienced by people of all sexual orientations and gender identities (e.g., cost, accessible location, embarrassment/shame).
We selected services that met one or more of the following criteria:
1. Low cost (i.e., free or sliding scale)
2. Self-referral (i.e., does not require a referral from another healthcare provider)
3. Explicit focus on 2S/LGBTQ+ affirming care
By focusing on these aspects of care, we aim to include services that address one or more of the barriers that may deter people—and in particular 2S/LGBTQ+ people—from seeking mental health care.
While we focused on those providing 2S/LGBTQ+-affirming services, we recognize that members of other minority groups (including, for example, people who are Intersex, people who are Asexual, or people living with disabilities) face unique barriers to affirming mental health services. In the future we aim to expand the scope of MindMap to include services that offer affirming mental health supports to members of these and other groups.
For the initial launch of MindMap, we also restricted to services in the Greater Vancouver region (including the Fraser region). We are currently working to expand the database to include other regions of the province. You can help us by recommending other 2S/LGBTQ+-affirming services!
How did you determine whether a service has an explicit focus on 2S/LGBTQ+ affirming care?
We understand that assessing 2S/LGBTQ+ affirming service provision is challenging and requires multiple approaches and regular revision. We started with a two-pronged approach. We included services that:
1. Self-reported an 2S/LGBTQ+ focused service
2. Were known by our community partners (https://www.sfu.ca/fhs/lgbtq2roundtable.html) to reliably provide 2S/LGBTQ+ affirming care.
If you know of a service that is 2S/LGBTQ+ affirming and is not listed in MindMap, please let us know by completing our "add a service" form!
Who created MindMap?
MindMap was developed as a collaborative project between several community-based agencies working with the 2S/LGBTQ+ communities, including:
The Community-Based Research Centre, https://www.cbrc.net/
HIM: Health Initiative for Men, https://checkhimout.ca/
Positive Living BC
And the Roundtable: BC’s 2S/LGBTQ+ Mental Health & Substance Use
Networking Space, https://www.sfu.ca/fhs/lgbtq2roundtable.html
We would also like to thank the members of our advisory group for their ongoing guidance and leadership.
Development was supported by the Pacific Blue Cross Health Foundation, the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, BC SUPPORT, and in-kind contributions from the above-named partners. Evaluation of MindMap is additionally supported by the SFU Community-Engaged Research Initiative.