Support Affirmative Care for Trans and Gender Diverse Kids!

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An open letter to the Board of Trustees of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

As a group of international care providers, academics, and other professionals who work toward the health and well-being of gender diverse children and youth in a range of disciplines and fields (including psychiatry, psychology, pediatrics, social work, health studies, sociology, political science, nursing, law, education), we are writing to express support for the December 2015 decision to close the CAMH Child Youth and Family Gender Identity Service.

While some have worried that this closure means an end to support for families with gender diverse children, it is important to draw attention to the fact that there are other services in Toronto and the rest of Canada that support these families through an affirmative approach that meets current best practices in the field. These affirmative services are drastically underfunded, and new commitments are required from all levels of government to ensure that families with gender diverse children are effectively supported.

We therefore ask others to stand with us to support the closure of the CAMH Child Youth and Family Gender Identity Service as a progression towards an affirmative, patient-centred approach that meets current best practices. We also urge others to join us in calling for additional funding to develop more services to better support gender diverse children and their families through an affirming and trans-positive model of care, recognizing that gender diversity “is a matter of diversity, not pathology.” (WPATH Standards of Care, 2011, p. 4).

[If you wish to sign, you may include credentials and affiliations, if applicable, in the comments.]

Signed, (in alphabetical order)

Y. Gavriel Ansara, Ph.D, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, UK

Gabrielle Bouchard, Peer Support and Trans Advocacy Coordinator, Center for Gender Advocacy, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Stephanie Brill, Author, Founder and Chair, Board of Directors of Gender Spectrum Bay Area, CA, USA

Mary K. Bryson, Ph.D., Senior Associate Dean, Administration & Innovation, Faculty of Education, Professor, Department of Language and Literacy Education (LLED), Faculty of Education Professor, Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice (GRSJ), Faculty of Arts, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Ken Clement, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN), Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Ailsa Craig, Ph.D, Associate Professor, Head, Department of Sociology, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada

Natasha Distiller, MA, Ph.D, Private Practice/ Gender and Women's Studies, University of California, Berkeley, CA USA

Diane Ehrensaft, Ph.D, Director of Mental Health, Child and Adolescent Gender Center, Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA

Kimberley Ens Manning, Ph.D, Principal, Simone de Beauvoir Institute, Concordia University, Montreal, PQ, Canada

Stephen H. Feder, MDCM, MPH, CCFP, Division Head, Adolescent Health, Medical Director, Regional Eating Disorders Program for Children and Youth, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Erica Friedman, Ph.D Social & Personality Psychology, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, New York, NY, USA

Cindy Holmes, Ph.D, Michael Smith Foundation for Health Sciences Postdoctoral Fellow, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada

Randy Jackson, MA, Ph.D Candidate, Lecturer, School of Social Work, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Laura Jacobs, LCSW-R, Psychotherapist, Activist, Public Speaker, Author... Heretic, Secretary, Board of Directors, the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, New York, NY, USA

Colt Keo-Meier, Ph.D, Licensed Psychologist in Private Practice, Lecturer, Psychology Department, University of Houston, Adjunct Professor, Southern Methodist University, Houston, Texas, USA

Margaret Lawson, MD, MSc, FRCP, Pediatric Endocrinologist, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Senior Scientist, CHEO Research Institute, Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Ottawa, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Brenda A. LeFrançois, Ph.D, Professor, School of Social Work, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada

Gerald P. Mallon, DSW, LCSW, Julia Lathrop Professor of Child Welfare, Associate Dean of Scholarship and Research, Silberman School of Social Work, Hunter College, New York, NY, U.S.A.

Zack Marshall, MSW, RSW, PhD Candidate, Division of Community Health and Humanities, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, NL, Canada

Catherine Maser, MN, NP-Pediatric, Nurse Practitioner, Team Lead-SITY, Division of Adolescent Medicine, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Denise Medico, Ph.D, M.A., M.Sc., Psychologist with specialization in psychotherapy and sexology FSP, Chargée de cours, Faculté de Psychologie et des Sciences de l'Education, Université de Genève, Switzerland

Elizabeth J. Meyer, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Teacher Education, School of Education, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA

Nick Mulé, Ph.D, Associate Professor, School of Social Work, York University, Toronto, Ontario Canada

Margaret Nichols, Ph.D, Founder/Director, Institute for Personal Growth, Highland Park, NJ, USA

Rachel Pepper, Author and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Bay Area, CA, USA

Sarah Pickett, M.A. Psy.D., R. Psych, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education, Memorial University Newfoundland, St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada

Simon Pickstone-Taylor, MA, MBChB, ABPN, Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist/ Honorary Senior Lecturer, Gender Identity Development Service, Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Annie Pullen Sansfaçon, Ph.D, Associate Professor, School of Social Work, University of Montreal, Montreal, PQ, Canada

Damien W. Riggs, Ph.D, Associate Professor, Social Work and Social Planning, School of Social and Policy Studies, Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia

Hershel Russell, M.Ed (Counselling Psych) R.P., Psychotherapist, educator, consultant, Lead Mental Health Trainer, Trans Health Connection, Rainbow Health Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Jean-Sébastien Sauvé, LL.B., Lawyer / LL.D. Candidate, Centre de recherche en droit public, Faculté de droit, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec, Canada

Ayden Scheim, Trudeau Foundation Scholar & Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar, PhD Candidate, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada

Herbert Schreier, M.D., Department of Psychiatry, Children's Hospital Research Center, Oakland, California, U.S.A.

Leanne Simpson, Ph.D, Visiting Professor, Indigenous Studies, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Raven Sinclair, BA BSW, MSW, Ph.D, Associate Professor, Faculty of Social Work, University of Regina (Saskatoon Campus), Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Kate Stadelman, MSW, RSW, Social Worker, Department of Psychiatry, Division of Adolescent Medicine, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Julia Temple Newhook, Ph.D, Research Associate, Janeway Pediatric Research Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, NL, Canada

Jemma Tosh, Ph.D CPsychol

Ann Travers, Ph.D, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada

Dr Erika Volkmar, President and founder, Agnodice Foundation, Lausanne, Switzerland

Jane Ward, Ph.D, Associate Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies, LGBIT Studies Program Chair, University of California, Riverside, CA, USA

Wallace Wong, Psy. D. Reg. Psy., Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Art Zoccole, Executive Director, 2-Spirited People of the 1st Nations, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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