People who are transgender or gender-diverse are some of the most affected when it comes to mental health issues, says the director of the University of Calgary Psychology Clinic.
This is often the result of stigma and discrimination that they experience, says Dr. Brae Anne McArthur, PhD, who is also an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology.
To try and combat this, the Clinic and Skipping Stone — an organization that provides support to members of the trans and gender-diverse community — are partnering up to provide psychology services.
“To me, there's a lot of gaps in service for the trans and gender-diverse community, and finding a safe place to receive services can be quite difficult,” says McArthur. “So, we really promote educating all personnel in our clinic, from our staff members to our supervisors to our clinicians, in being trans-affirming.
“We're really trying to provide a space to the community where individuals can come and feel supported.”
The clinic is a training facility for UCalgary’s clinical psychology graduate program, which is mandated to offer evidence-based services on a sliding scale to the community, particularly individuals most at need.
McArthur hopes the clinic can eventually provide even more programming to others who need it.
“I think this is just one avenue for our clinic,” McArthur says. “We would like to be serving more of the Calgary community. So we do have plans to expand to other historically minoritized or at-risk groups within Calgary.”
The clinic is philanthropically supported by donors Dr. Lori Egger, BA’87, MSc’90, PhD’94, and Steve Laut, BSc (Eng)’79.