Mental Health Weekly News Wrap Up: July 29

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Mental Health: Let’s Talk About Culture, Race And Ethnicity

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As Minority Mental Health Month winds down, it is important to take a step back and remind ourselves that mental illness affects us all. Minority communities are less likely to receive mental health care than whites. Minorities have a long list of disparities when it comes to mental health care from racism to lack of cultural sensitivity. It’s time to educate people mental health without disregarding the different experiences minorities may encounter.

Being Transgender Is Not a Mental Disorder

In the past, studies have shown being transgender is a form of mental illness. But recent studies argue that being transgender is a condition related to sexual health. Many found their mental illness not from the transition itself, but from the social rejection and violence that comes with being transgender. The stigma associated with the transgender community needs to come to an end just as much as mental illness.

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Emerging Scholars Fellowship: 5 Reasons You Should Be a Transgender Ally and Advocate

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Quintin is a researcher in the 2016 class of the Emerging Scholars Fellowship. Read blog updates from Quintin and his fellow scholars here.

As I mentioned in my last blog post, I expected to learn a lot about what it means to be trans and its relation to suicide when I began this project. However, I have been surprised with how much I also identify with the issues that were discussed.

quintin and brotherEssentially, I am a bleeding heart and I believe in supporting anyone that might be considered an underdog. I am passionate about understanding suicide and suicide prevention because my brother took his own life when I was eight years old (see picture with eight-year-old me and Eric, my brother). I expected to be able to get on board with suicide in the trans community because I do not want more people to have to go through what I went through losing a brother to suicide.

However, I found that the issues these transgender youth talked about are things I too have experienced.

1. If you have ever felt like family members just don’t get you or support you, you can understand. Most any person that has ever had family can understand what it’s like for a family member to not believe you or question a decision you’ve made. This might have been really frustrating when your parents didn’t approve of your boyfriend, or of your college major. It was annoying when you came home and they asked when you’re going to get a real job or finally settle down and have kids. Now imagine those experiences are about something much more integral to who you are inside.

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Emerging Scholars Fellowship: Reflections and FAQs on Working with Trans Youth

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Quintin is a researcher in the 2016 class of the Emerging Scholars Fellowship. Read blog updates from Quintin and his fellow scholars here.

01-trans-child-big-ss-225x300When I began the project for the Active Minds Emerging Scholar fellowship, a qualitative examination of the experiences of suicide in trans*-identified youth, I expected to learn a lot about the experience of being trans*. I expected to have some emotional reaction due to the heavy content of suicide and discussions of wanting to die. I did not expect to have such emotional responses because the experiences hit so close to home.

I’ve had a great deal of trouble writing this post that is becoming more and more needed. As I’ve struggled to write this I learned of the passing of Prince. Prince was one of the key influential artists for my adolescence. Like any kid in high school in the 90s, every party included 1999 on its playlist.

Prince, famously known for going by an unpronounceable glyph that had a striking resemblance to the symbols for both male and female genders, for dressing in women’s underwear and raincoats in high school, and for loving anything purple, was an example to me and the rest of the world that there is not one right way to be a man. This pressure to be the right kind of man or right kind of woman is something transyouth commonly identify as a reason for wanting to die.

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Emerging Scholars Fellowship: Meet Quintin Hunt

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Quintin is a researcher in the 2016 class of the Emerging Scholars Fellowship. Read blog updates from Quintin and his fellow scholars here.

quintin 1Hello! My name is Quintin Hunt and I am second-year PhD student in the Family Social Science program with a specialization in Couple and Family Therapy and the University of Minnesota. I also practice clinically as a Marriage and Family Therapist.

I am strongly committed to understanding and supporting families as I believe that through family-based intervention we can best prevent a great deal of mental and behavioral challenges that may arise—depression and suicide are the two foremost issues I have most interest in preventing.

This project came about as an evolution from my Master’s thesis at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (Go Rebels!) in which I interviewed survivors of suicide loss about their experiences. During this process—and my work as a therapist—it became clear to me how important it was to understand the processes within families that lead to and prevent suicidal thoughts or actions.

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Emerging Scholars Fellowship: Drum Roll Please…

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9186213I don’t know if you’ve all noticed, but it seems like the transgender community has been gaining more and more visibility in the last few months…

It’s been amazing to see, and I feel honored to be doing this research at a time when society seems to be becoming more open to the experiences and needs of transgender and non-binary individuals.

On that note, I think it’s time to share some of the findings that have come from my time as an Active Minds Emerging Scholars Fellow.

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