The American Psychological Association encourages the public to become more familiar with and make efforts to understand the needs and experience of those who identify as transgender, gender non-conforming, and LGBTQI+ people. Striving for greater efforts to be more culturally sensitive and competent and impact psychological treatment, the American Psychological Association has also offered some terms and definitions to increase education and awareness as it pertains to gender expression and identity and sexual orientation. Some terms are defined as such: “Sexual orientation refers to an individual’s enduring physical, romantic, and/or emotional attraction to another person whereas Gender Identity refers to “one’s internal sense of being male, female, or something else.”
Transitions and coming out processes are varied for different people. Take the opportunity to seek out the narrative of the person you know. Educate yourself with professional tools surrounding transgender issues and and be aware of any personal biases related to gender-nonconforming behaviors. Communicate openly. Ask questions and don’t make assumptions.
The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) can be a source of support for transgender persons who are seeking mental health treatment, support groups and/or connection within community. For crisis services and/or connection to Mental Health and Substance Abuse services, you may contact the Georgia Crisis & Access Line at 1-800-715-4225 or check out the website: mygcal.com. You can also check out NAMI Helpline at 800-950-NAMI; Or in a crisis, text “NAMI” to 741741.
If you or a loved one you know is experiencing stress, mood changes, relationship difficulty, or other major concerns, please consider reaching out to a mental health provider or doctor. There are online mental health screening tools available to help you determine next steps. Check out: https://www.mhanational.org/self-help-tools