Mental Health Association gets $650,000 to support transgender and gender diverse individuals


KAWARTHA LAKES-The Canadian Mental Health Association, Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge (C.M.H.A. H.K.P.R.) has been given $648,700 in new funding for Gender Journeys, an initiative to provide programming, education and support services for transgender, 2-spirit, gender diverse and individuals who are questioning their gender identity.

Jeff Leal, MPP for Peterborough was on hand for the announcement. “This is great news for our community and I am pleased that our government through the Ontario Trillium Foundation has partnered with C.M.H.A. Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge to provide funding for this important Gender Journeys program. This program will ensure socially- isolated transgender individuals have the supports they need to be connected and engage themselves throughout the community.” Leal said.

CMHA HKPR says transgender and gender diverse individuals can experience social isolation as a result of complex factors, including stigma, internalized transphobia, discrimination, familial rejection, a lack of adequate supports, limited access to trans-sensitive healthcare and knowledgeable service providers. According to officials this can lead to a high risk for depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation and other persistent mental illness.

“The OTF gender journeys GROW grant will build on the successes of the OTF SEED grant received from 2015 to 2017”, states Mark Graham, Chief Executive Officer of C.M.H.A. H.K.P.R. “We hope to build on reducing social isolation and providing equitable access to primary health care for the transgender community. We would like to thank the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough and Trent University for their support to bridge the gap between the end of the OTF Seed Grant and today’s wonderful announcement.”

The long-term goal of the program is to support transgender individuals to develop ongoing, flourishing social connections through their peers, families, allies, service providers and employers.

Gender Journeys also offers drop in programming and peer mentoring. Workshops and education for allies will also be available. For more information please see the attached brochure or visit our website.

To access the Gender Journeys Program, interested people can call C.M.H.A. H.K.P.R. at 705-748-6711 extension 2100 or email All inquiries are kept confidential.