As part of the broader Creating Together: Co-Creating a Mental Health and Addictions Research Agenda for Ontario initiative (see the May 5th issue of Mental Health Notes for more information about Creating Together), in September 2010, OMHAKEN and Rainbow Health Ontario partnered to sponsor the first mental health and addictions research consultation with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities in Ontario.
The purpose of this special session was to identify knowledge gaps with respect to the health status of, and disparities among, the LGBT communities, both provincially and nationally.
The top three research priorities that emerged from the consultation were:
- Program Evaluation (e.g., whether specialized or integrated services better serve the LGBT communities; how well programs and services meet the needs of different sub-populations in the LGBT communities)
- Stigma and Discrimination (e.g., understanding the multiple and complex ways that LGBT people experience stigma within and outside LGBT communities, related both to being LGBT and to addictions and mental health; addressing stigma and discrimination within mental health settings)
- Vulnerable Populations (e.g., understanding and addressing the needs of LGBT people and sub-populations within the LGBT communities that experience multiple forms of oppression: racialized communities, immigrant and refugee populations, people with disabilities; youth and children)
Researchers and funders of research can help to address these gaps by carrying out research in, and allocating resources to, these priority areas.