We have four sample groups in this study: 1) LGBTQ-affirmative mental health providers with no experience serving refugees; 2) refugee mental health providers with no experience serving LGBTQ individuals; 3) mental health providers who have experience serving LGBTQ refugees/forced migrants; and 4) LGBTQ forced migrants themselves who have received treatment from mental health providers. Interested participants will be screened for eligibility. Sample groups 1-3 must meet the following criteria: a) be over the age of 18 years; b) comfortable speaking English; c) currently providing mental health support for said population; c) serving said population for over 6 months; d) provide therapy to this population beyond assessment and referral (short or long term); e) have at least a 25% clientele of said population. Sample group 4 must meet the following criteria: a) be over the age of 18 years; b) comfortable speaking English; c) have applied or received refugee status based on membership in an sexual and gender minority group; d) fled country of origin due to membership in an SGM group; e) been in Canada not less than 1 year but no more than 5 years; f) received mental health treatment since arriving in Canada; g) feel comfortable answering questions about experiences of seeking and receiving mental health services in Canada; h) be comfortable being audio recorded if no identifying information is disclosed to others outside the research team; and i) not feeling suicidal, extremely anxious, or very depressed.
Through individual interviews, this study aims to achieve two objectives. The first objective of this study is to illuminate how LGBTQ-affirmative mental health care providers and refugee mental health providers describe their readiness to support LGBTQ forced migrants in Canada. The second objective is to learn what therapeutic approaches best support LGBTQ forced migrants’ mental health and wellbeing. The specific aims of the study are to a) identify gaps in knowledge, attitudes, and skills in serving LGBTQ refugees/forced migrants; b) uncover emerging best practices for serving LGBTQ refugees/forced migrants that can be shared with a diverse array of mental health practitioners; and c) understand from LGBTQ refugees/forced migrants who have received treatment from mental health providers what factors facilitated and/or hindered their mental health and wellbeing. These objectives and aims will be achieved through triangulating the insights, expertise, and experiences with four subsample groups: 1) LGBTQ-affirmative mental health providers with no experience serving refugees; 2) refugee mental health providers with no experience serving LGBTQ individuals; 3) mental health providers who have experience serving LGBTQ refugees/forced migrants; and 4) LGBTQ forced migrants themselves who have received treatment from mental health providers. Samples will be recruited across Canada.
How will this research help LGBT people and communities?
Scholarly benefits: 1) The proposed study and knowledge mobilization actions will offer mental health providers with an enhanced understanding of how to best serve LGBTQ forced migrants’ mental health needs (e.g., theoretical approaches, principles); and 2) The proposed study will also contribute to the emerging research on providing mental health care based on needs specific to LGBTQ forced migrants. Scholarly outcomes: The proposed research will provide mental health providers and policy makers with empirically-based knowledge that can ultimately inform improving mental health services for LGBTQ forced migrants. This enhanced model for practice would allow LGBTQ forced migrants to better fulfill their potential to contribute to Canadian society. Potential benefits to target audience: 1) Offer policy makers and practitioners empirical data from which to make culturally nuanced regulatory and programmatic decisions with respect to mental health care for LGBTQ forced migrants in Canada; 2) offers directly affected individuals knowledge they can use to engage in self-advocacy efforts.
Participants will receive a $30CAD gift card at the end of the interview as a token of appreciation for their time and participation in the study. Additionally, each participant will also be able to opt into a draw to win 1 out of 2 iPad Minis.
What mitigation measures are in place to reduce potential distress caused to participants as a result of being part of the research study?
There is minimal risk to subsample groups 1-3 as they consist of mental health providers speaking about serving forced migrants, LGBTQ, or LGBTQ forced migrant clients. There may be some risk to those in subsample group 4 as LGBTQ forced migrants who have previously received mental health care services as they may be asked to recall mental health treatment they have received in the past, which may involve recalling memories that may be uncomfortable or upsetting. However, questions will not solicit stories of what happened to participants prior to their migration. Nonetheless, participants will be informed that they do not have to answer any question that makes them uncomfortable and that they can withdraw from the study at any time. In addition, at the end of each of the subsample group 4 interviews, participants will be provided with a list of resources for mental health services if: a) any of the interview questions cause distress; or b) they request this information. Should a participant become acutely distressed, the interview will be stopped and the participant will be provided with mental health resources.
When do you anticipate that this study's findings will be available?
Name: Hanna Kim
Professor Sara Kahn, McGill University
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council