PEI

How a PEERS project will improve mental health for LGBTQ community

P.E.I.'s PEERS Alliance is launching a new project which it hopes will build resilience, pride and connectedness in the LGBT community.

'There's a lot of healing that can happen when we share a story'

Building community can improve mental health. (Pride PEI/Facebook)

P.E.I.'s PEERS Alliance is launching a new project which it hopes will build resilience, pride and connectedness in the LGBT community.

The Linking Together project marks the one year since Trudeau apologized for the systemic oppression of queer people in Canada, including the campaign against LGBT civil servants and military members.

Project coordinator Hannah Gehrels is looking for 10 diverse members of the community to help develop a community building event for January. Gehrels said there have been important conversations on the Island about mental health treatment, and this project is another step.

"It's also important to have conversations about, what are the protective measures to help promote positive well-being. The research for these protective measures are pretty clear, in terms of pride and identity, community connection and social interaction," she said.

Initiatives for preventative measures are especially important for the LGBTQ community, says Hannah Gehrels. (CBC)

"There's a lot of healing that can happen when we share a story and when we learn from other people. That's what we're really aiming to have happen."

Gehrels said this discussion is especially important in the LGBTQ community, where rates of anxiety and depression can be three to five times higher than in the general population, and people are two and half times more likely to have attempted suicide.

The deadline to apply to be part of the discussion group is Oct. 18.

More P.E.I. news

With files from Angela Walker

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