Are you aware of any organizations in Montreal related to inclusivity, addiction and mental health?
Hi I know this question may appear on your question page but ask if possible to remove my name 🙂
I’m an Addictions Youth Counsellor in Montreal, I’m writing because I have a bit of a dilemma. Our Youth Counsellor team has been requested to lead a youth group for one of the organizations we work with, and they asked us to create a “boys and girls” group, which is problematic and exclusionary. We are now brainstorming ways to create a more inclusive group and recognize that some of our clients are currently experiencing bullying by peers in relation to gender identity and sexual/romantic orientation. As well, we have the added difficulty of having to offer this service online, which complicates our ability to insure a safe & confidential space. So my main question is: are you aware of any organizations that would be willing to help us navigated or offer resources on creating a youth group that is more inclusive but still mainly focused on issues related to addiction and mental health? Any resources or suggestions would be much appreciated!
Hello ! 🙂
Thank you for sending us your question. If I understand well, you are looking for any organizations in Montreal, Canada, related to inclusivity, addiction and mental health to help you to create a youth group that is more inclusive about people from all genders and sexual/romantic orientation. I am really grateful to see that your org and your coworkers are thinking about this kind of (youth) issues!
I believe that Head&Hands in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Montreal, would be a good place for you to start. They offer a multitude of workshops that are all meant to be inclusive from subject varying from safer sex to safer drug use and supply. I believe that they would be able to provide you with the support necessary. As a coordinator from that organization, you could send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and see how I can help you out. 🙂
You could also look into Aids Community Care of Montreal (ACCM) as an organization. They also have a lot of valuable workshops and they might be able to provide you with tips and tricks too. The The Centre for Community Organizations (CoCo) would also be a good place for tools for online facilitation. Find below the links for these ressources.
Also, along with organizing support groups where facilitation and participation is inclusive for people of all genders and orientations, it is also important to learn about the specific queer and trans youth issues according to addictions/substance use. For example, family conflict, minority stress about belonging to marginalized communities, internalized homophobia and transphobia, internalized shame and the (in)accessibility of the several support resources are several examples that can be risk factors to LGBTQ + youth. Understanding these particular realities is also an important element to help to create a safe counselling environment for LGBTQ+ youth.
I know this is not in Montreal, but Toronto has a really awesome org named Pieces To Pathways that is one of Toronto’s few safe spaces for queer and trans youth with addiction issues. It’s probably possible to reach them to have a few more tips as well!
Also, I am sharing you this resources (in French). It explains all the good practices that an org can create to be welcoming to queer and trans youth : Pratiques d’ouverture envers les jeunes LGBTQIA2S en situation d’itinérance : Guide destiné aux organismes d’aide en itinérance ou qui œuvrent auprès de personnes à risque d’itinérance
I hope this helped! Don’t hesitate to write back if you need so.
Misanka, peer support worker