On Wednesday, May 17th, CMHA Ontario joins organizations and individuals around the world in commemorating the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia. This day of action is an annual landmark to draw attention to the violence and discrimination often faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) people and all those who do not conform to majority sexual and gender norms.
A growing number of research now indicates that homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, and other forms of discrimination such as racism and sexism, have a negative impact on health and wellbeing. The daily lived experience of discrimination – at home, at work and in society – can increase the risk of mental health and addictions related issues for individuals and communities. Experiences of discrimination in the workplace often leads to a toxic work environment and increases stress for both employers and employees.
A recent article featured in Moods Magazine focuses on discrimination, mental health and its impact on the workplace. Co-authored by CMHA Ontario Policy Director Uppala Chandrasekera and Equity & Diversity Expert Lahoma Thomas, this article identifies how discrimination manifests as micro-aggressions in the workplace, through the everyday verbal, nonverbal slights, snubs and insults targeted at individuals based solely on their marginalized group membership. Chandrasekera and Thomas offer multiple strategies for advancing equity and combatting discrimination in the workplace – they recommend naming discrimination when it happens in the workplace as the first step to addressing it and creating a psychologically safe work environment. Read the full article.
CMHA Ontario is working to address the impact of discrimination on mental health through the development of our Equity Framework, and we promote workplace wellness through our Mental Health Works Program.
To learn more LGBTQ health and policy issues, visit the Rainbow Health Ontario website.