MEDIA RELEASE: TRANSSASK LAUNCHES PROVINCIAL SUPPORT PROGRAM

For immediate release:

Saskatchewan (Mar 29, 2019): TransSask Support Services, Inc. is a province wide support and resource network for transgender and gender diverse individuals in Saskatchewan. TransSask has a mission to identify, develop and provide services and resources that meet the needs of trans-identified and sex or gender diverse people within Saskatchewan, and has been awarded a Community Initiatives Fund (CIF) grant to develop a pilot peer-support program, TransConnect: Social Supports for Trans and Gender Diverse Communities in Saskatchewan. The project includes facilitating social support groups in Regina, Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, and Prince Albert as well as creating an online peer-support system for individuals outside those centres.

“Within the province of Saskatchewan there is an overall lack of mental health services, and a critical lack of service providers who have knowledge and cultural competencies related to transgender and gender diverse individuals” said Cat Haines, Co-Chair of TransSask Support Services. “While this lack of services must ultimately be addressed by the Saskatchewan Health Authority, until such a time, we will continue to do what transgender communities and people have always done and support one another at a personal and community level.”

In the provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, 64% of transgender youth (14-25 years) have reported avoiding medical care because of previous negative experiences, and 50% of transgender youth had attempted suicide in the previous year. While there have been no efforts to collect similar information around transgender adults in Saskatchewan, an analysis of peer-reviewed and grey literature around transgender suicidality indicates that approximately 10% of transgender individuals have attempted suicide in the past year, and over 50% have experienced suicidal ideation in the same time period.

“Isolation and alienation are definitely major issues for queer and trans folks province wide, especially in more rural communities” said Nillin Lore, Support Coordinator for TransSask. “As somebody who has personally struggled with both throughout my life, I understand the importance of affirming and empowering social support. I genuinely believe that the TransConnect has the potential to immensely improve the emotional well-being of countless gender diverse individuals all around Saskatchewan.”

TransSask is currently exploring additional funding to be able to expand this project even more.

 

Media Contacts:

Cat Haines (she/her)
Co-Chair, Regina
TransSask Support Services
cat.haines@transsask.ca
Nillin Lore (they/them)
Support Coordinator
TransSask Support Services
support.coordinator@transsask.ca

 

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