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CGSHE commemorates IDAHOBIT 2024

May 16, 2024   |   Blog, News

May 17 marks the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT). In honour of the 2024 IDAHOBIT theme, “No one left behind: equality, freedom and justice for all”, we are spotlighting the MindMapBC project. MindMapBC is a service finder that helps people locate 2S/LGBTQ+ affirming mental health supports in British Columbia.

For the past few years, MindMapBC has been led by the REAFFIRM Collaborative, a research team committed to promoting 2S/LGBTQ+ health equity. However, the team has always envisioned the website’s long-term future to be in the hands of a community-based organization. This summer marks the realization of this vision as the project shifts hands from REAFFIRM to QMUNITY, BC’s queer, trans and Two-Spirit resource center.

CGSHE interviewed REAFFIRM and QMUNITY about the collaborative work put into the project and its transition. The teams shared how they plan to move forward with maintaining the vision and expanding the scope of MindMapBC.

Tell us more about the MindMapBC project.

MindMapBC helps people locate 2S/LGBTQ+ affirming mental health supports, resources and related articles. The project was co-developed with our partners, Health Initiative for Men and the Community-Based Research Centre. Since the website’s launch, we have continued to work closely with community-based organizations, advocacy groups, mental health providers, and 2S/LGBTQ+ community members to refine and expand the site.

QMUNITY, tell us more about your organization.

QMUNITY provides support and connection through a variety of services such as our youth and seniors programs, counselling, and our network of peer groups. Our office is in Vancouver, but we work across the province with virtual services and we’ve recently expanded our seniors program into the interior.

REAFFIRM, when did the partnership begin? What does it look like for a community organization and research team to work together?

Since the beginning, QMUNITY has been critical to the success of MindMapBC. Members of their team have provided support and direction as we have expanded the website and promoted it across BC. They have helped guide our approach and ensure that MindMapBC continues to align with community needs and priorities.

What prompted the idea for MindMapBC to be transferred from REAFFIRM to QMUNITY?

REAFFIRM: Although we, at the REAFFIRM Collaborative, have maintained the site in recent years, we have done so with a great deal of support from community partners. As a mental health resource for 2S/LGBTQ+ communities across BC, we wanted the site’s long-term future to be in the hands of a community-based organization.

 

QMUNITY’s ongoing leadership and organizing with queer, trans, and Two-Spirit people across BC make them a perfect partner to not only carry on this work, but also to expand the project in new ways.

– REAFFIRM team

QMUNITY: We have really valued the partnership with REAFFIRM and all of the community partners who helped build MindMapBC. It was a natural fit for MindMapBC to move to QMUNITY to continue being a resource for queer people across the province, as we’re continually expanding our service options and our community building across BC.

QMUNITY, what are your hopes for the future of MindMapBC?

REAFFIRM and their community partners did such a fantastic job of building out the structure of MindMapBC, so that resources listed on it are trusted through various anti-oppressive metrics. QMUNITY is committed to upholding this practice, so that MindMapBC can be a trusted resource well into the future.

 

None of the resources listed have just put a rainbow sticker up and called it a day; they are all asked about how they intentionally work with multiple marginalized queer people before being listed.

– QMUNITY team

The best thing about MindMapBC is that it’s built by and for queer communities across BC. Our hope is that MindMapBC will be a celebration of grassroots queer communities across the province, and will represent the queer community’s dedication to taking care of each other through trusted referrals.

 

 

Have you heard about QMUNITY’s Summer of Love project? As part of the project, QMUNITY will be attending 21 pride celebrations across the province over the next few months. With each stop, they will be hosting engagement sessions with local pride organizers to find out what services are available in their community, adding to the array of existing resource on MindMapBC. Check out their website to learn more!