What is MindMapBC?
MindMapBC is a custom-made database of outpatient mental health services including professional counselling, peer counselling, support groups, and others. We have also included relevant resources, and social and networking groups. Learn more about the types of services on MindMapBC!
We have focused on services that are affirming of 2S/LGBTQ+* (Two-Spirit, as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, and other gender- and sexually-diverse) people. Where possible, we have also 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.
*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.
Why was MindMapBC made?
MindMapBC 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+ people.
How was MindMapBC 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 MindMapBC.
We did not include individual private practitioners unless they focused their practice on providing sexual or gender minority-affirming care and/or low cost options – especially for equity-seeking groups. 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
When we were developing the site, we worked closely with people with lived/living experience, mental health and other service providers working with 2S/LGBTQ+ people, researchers, and others.
How did you decide which services to include?
MindMapBC 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 working with Two-Spirit, trans, and/or LGBQ+ people.
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 MindMapBC to include services that offer affirming mental health supports to members of these and other groups.
For the initial launch of MindMapBC, we also restricted to services in the Greater Vancouver region (including the Fraser region). We are actively 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 reliably provide Two-Spirit, trans, and/or LGBQ+-affirming care.
We worked closely with an advisory group of people with lived/living experience, service providers, and researchers to develop a set of questions for providers that help us to evaluate their capacity to provide affirming support to 2S/LGBTQ+ people. As we expand the site, all new services are asked to answer these questions. Their responses will be visible on their MindMapBC service listing. You can view these questions on the Add-a-Service page.
If you know of a service that is 2S/LGBTQ+ affirming and is not listed in MindMapBC, please let us know by completing our "add a service" form!
Who created MindMapBC?
MindMapBC 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
About the MindMapBC Advisory Group
We have and continue to work with Advisory Groups to expand and improve the site. The MindMapBC Advisory Groups include people with diverse lived and living experience related to mental health. They provide guidance and feedback on MindMapBC, including strategies for improving the site, process and guidelines for identifying and screening services, opportunities for expansion, priorities for evaluation, and much more!
We would like to thank the members of our Advisory Groups – both past and present - for their ongoing guidance and leadership!
Our Advisory Group includes, but is not limited to:
Chelsey Blair (she/they) is a queer settler social worker on unceded Coast Salish homelands. Chelsey is with QMUNITY: BC's Queer, Trans, and Two Spirit Resource Centre and oversees their Information and Referrals Services, Peer Group Program, Trans ID Clinic, and other program-specific volunteer-run capacity.
Dr. A.J. Lowik (they/them) is a trans scholar and trans health researcher, whose work focuses on trans and non-binary people's reproductive and sexual health, substance use and mental health. They are also the Gender Equity Advisor at the Centre for Gender and Sexual Health Equity.
KC Pearcey is a Christian, transgender voice hearer and a Peer Support Worker and Peer Group Facilitator.
Sasha Torchinsky is a queer, non-binary mental health consumer and advocate. They are passionate about law and policy reform that shifts traditional power balances.
Thank you for your your continued work and commitment to MindMapBC!
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 Unit, and in-kind contributions from the above-named partners. Evaluation of MindMapBC is additionally supported by the SFU Community-Engaged Research Initiative.
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