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Mental Health and Suicide in LGBT Youth in Ontario


aalaa mo

on 13 August 2013

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Transcript of Mental Health and Suicide in LGBT Youth in Ontario

Hate crimes in Canada motivated by sexual orientation more than doubled from 2007 to 2008, and were the most violent of all hate crimes.
2 times greater for gays and lesbians to be victimized and 4.5 times greater for bisexuals.
20% of trans people had experienced physical or sexual assault due to being trans, and 34% were subjected to verbal threats or harassment
Twice as likely to experience childhood maltreatment, interpersonal violence, and personal loss.
Stigma and discrimination increases internalized homophobia and stress-related cortisol production, both are associated with increased depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts
They are one and a half times more at risk of depression and anxiety than heterosexuals.
Those who experience family rejection as adolescents reported high rates of depression, drug use, unprotected sex, and attempted suicide
Sexual minority individuals are two and a half times more likely than heterosexuals to have attempted suicide
Canadian study estimated that the risk of suicide among LGBT youth is 14 times higher than for heterosexual youth.

More likely than heterosexuals to report unmet mental health needs and are more likely to consult mental health practitioners
They are at double the risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder as their heterosexual peers.
36% of LGBT people are smokers
For transgender people smoking increases:
- The risk of blood clots in trans females who take estrogen.
- The risk of heart disease in trans males who take testosterone.
Increased risks of HIV infection, syphilis and gonorrhea in gay and bisexual males.
STI’s such as herpes, HPV (genital wart virus) and trichomoniasis are transmitted fairly easily between females during sex.
Gay males are more likely than straight males to have a poor body image and are much more likely to experience an eating disorder such as bulimia or anorexia nervosa
Lesbians are more likely to be overweight or obese than heterosexual females, which increases the risks of heart disease and stroke.
Table of Contents
Equity and Inclusive Education Strategies
Bill 13 Accepting Schools Act
Governments Opposing/Supporting Ontario's Health Curriculum
Ontario's Health Curriculum
Suitable LGBT Programming for High schools
Bill 13: Accepting School's Act
Proposed by Minister of Education, Laurel Broton
Recent amendment passed on June 5th, 2012
States that:
It must allow students to use the name “gay, straight alliance” or any similar name
The name of the organization must be consistent with the promotion of a positive school atmosphere
All boards must comply with this act that does not affect any student’s rights from the Canadian Charter of Freedom and Rights
Hopes for Ontario students to be who they are. To be safe and accepted at school, and to know that the Ontario government supports you in that desire
Promotion of a safe and positive learning environment for all pupils regardless of ethnic, racial, sex, age, disabilities, or sexual orientation differences
Implementation of Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week and other programming.
Focus on early intervention and support for victims of bullying
Who Supports/Opposes GSAs
Catholic Board & GSAs
Support traditional roles and values
Typically do not support or allow GSAs in their schools
Accuse liberal government of making religious freedom a second-class right
Feel that they should be free to design their own methods to fight bullying

(Ferguson, 2012).
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, 2 Spirited, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Ally, Asexual – An acronym used to show the diversity of sexual minorities in the gay community
Mental Health
A state of emotional and psychological well-being in which an individual is able to uphold their cognitive and emotional capabilities, function in society and meet the demands of ordinary everyday life
( "The Triangle Program: Canada’s only classroom for LGBTQ youth," 2012).
LGBT Youth
Those ages 12 -25 who identify as having a non-heterosexual orientation
Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA)
Student organizations in the school system that strive to provide a supportive environment for LGBT youth and their straight allies
Supportive School Environment
Is an environment that encourages acceptance of everyone and has strict disciplinary action for those who discriminate based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or other differences
Sexual Orientation Education
Lessons in the health curriculum that focus on sexual diversity, the coming out process, healthy relationships and safe sex practices
The problem: Inequities among visible minorities in the public school system

Minorities achieve lower academic success

As a social determinant of health, education directly influences one’s:
1. health and life chances
2. environment

Conclusive research shows that:
• Rejection
• Exclusion &
• Estrangement
are associated with behaviour problems in the classroom, lower interest in school, lower student achievement, and higher dropout rates

Ontario's Equity and inclusive eduction strategies
(Canada, 2009).
Main Political Parties
Ontario's Health Curriculum
Curriculum is not a set system of criteria
The health curriculum is part of the physical education and health curriculum for Ontario.
In high school, there are two curriculum publications
Each curriculum is split into two parts:
1) Physical education and healthy active living
2) Health education
Interpretation is up to the teacher:
This effects our issue of sexual orientation education
Centered on physical activity, healthy relationships, drug safety and safe sex
The curriculum is mandated and maintained by provincial level government:
It is run through Ontario’s Ministry of Education
Changes are made through provincial policy change
Updates to the curriculum are made through the public sector
Thus can be influenced by lobbyist groups (liberal or conservative views)
Curriculum Expectations
Students/Age groups
Topics to discuss




School for the LGBT community effected by homophobia

Mornings: Self study with teachers

Afternoon: Courses adapted to interest Lesbian, gay and transgender communities, social science and history

Strict attendance policies

Trial period
Triangle Program
Classroom Activities
Compromised of Readings + Questions

Read passages and put yourself in another's viewpoint
Attempt to understand it
Short summary
Talk about what you experienced

Discussion exercises on how to improve the situation
How to start: there are useful guides around

Support system

Meeting ideas:
Anonymous Q and A
Bring a Friend
No adults
What if : 90% were homosexual, and 10% heterosexual
Inviting other GSAs

Mental Health and LGBT Youth in Ontario
Sexual Minorities and SDOH
(Marshall & Werb, 2010).
(Stewart & Diaz-Granados, 2006).
(Tjepkema, 2008).
Bill 13: Accepting Schools Act
(Mishna, Newman, Daley & Solomon, 2009).
(Canada, 1999).
("Gay/Straight Alliances: A Student Guide Top Ten GSA Meeting Ideas," 1995).
("The Triangle Program: Canada’s only classroom for LGBTQ youth," 2012).
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