By Patrick Callan, Communications Coordinator
Dr. June Lam has a very personal connection to his work.
“I lost someone to suicide who was transgender,” says the Clinical Associate and Psychiatry Fellow at CAMH’s Adult Gender Identity Clinic. “As a queer person, I just felt like I wanted to be a better ally to our transgender peers and community members.”
His master’s thesis in clinical epidemiology at the University of Toronto is looking at access to mental health care for transgender patients in Ontario after discharge from a mental health hospitalization or mental health-related emergency department visit.
“I’m really interested in using research as a way to advocate for policy and program changes for and with transgender people,” he says.
Dr. Alex Abramovich, Principal Investigator, Investigating Mental Health Care Utilization Trajectories and Mental Health Outcomes Among Transgender Individuals in Ontario—funded by CAMH's Discovery Fund—has already identified 2,000 transgender individuals in Ontario and linked their administrative health data via IC/ES and is providing access to the data, as well as content expertise.
June and Alex, who is also an Independent Scientist in CAMH’s Institute for Mental Health Policy Research, recently published an article titled Transgender-inclusive care in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. The article offers health care providers tips on how to support and provide care for transgender people.
“Transgender individuals experience major challenges accessing health-care services due to erasure, stigma and discrimination, resulting in negative physical and mental health outcomes,” says Alex. “Education and training are key components to providing inclusive and affirming care to transgender patients.”