goodhead.ca is a research-based online mental health resource that supports guys into guys (G2G) – gay, bisexual, queer, questioning, two-spirit, gender queer, gender non-binary, trans and other guys who are sexually and/or romantically interested in other others. This website tackles the difficulties linked with navigating mental health services and accessing competent care among G2G. It is also a place for G2G to learn and get curious about mental health issues and to help locate mental health services in Ontario.
Mental Health is Important
goodhead.ca aims to open dialogue about the mental health risks specific to G2G, with the goal of destigmatizing mental health through knowledge and deeper understanding. One in five Canadians experience mental health challenges each year, but G2G are at greater risk of experiencing poor mental health. For example, gay men are three times more likely to have depression and anxiety, and over 60% of trans men experience depression. Gay men are also four times more likely and bisexual men six times more likely to experience suicidality in their lifetime in comparison to heterosexual men. In fact, suicide has surpassed HIV as a leading cause of early death for gay and bisexual men since 2007.
Promoting wellbeing for G2G requires thinking about the ways in which mental health is impacted on many levels, from the individual to the social and political. goodhead.ca covers many of the factors affecting mental health for G2G, including discrimination, minority stress, shame, and barriers to affirmative and affordable mental health care.
Barriers to Care
Access to mental health care is crucial for fostering well-being. Unfortunately, research shows that many G2G face barriers in accessing care. Without public mental health care, cost is one of the most prohibitive barriers to care for G2G. In addition, many G2G struggle to find affirmative clinicians, or experience discrimination when receiving care.
goodhead.ca aims to help G2G navigate the complex mental health care systems by providing information about different kinds of care that exist, and ways to access and evaluate competent, affirmative care. Furthermore, it is a resource that can help health care professionals better understand the needs and experiences of G2G in order to provide more adequate care. goodhead.ca also advocates for better services for G2G by showcasing the gaps between the need for and the availability of competent, affirmative services.
A Multifaceted Resource
goodhead.ca is a unique resource that translates research data into usable knowledge for all audiences. The complexity of mental health issues affecting G2G is illustrated using quotes from real guys who have experienced difficulties. There are also suggestions for different ways that G2G can work towards better mental health as well as descriptions of the various kinds of service providers who may be able to help. Furthermore, tips for finding the right kind of care are paired up with extensive directories listing G2G affirmative services. There is also information about selecting the right kind of treatment, and preparing to start therapy, including the questions one may want to ask himself or a service provider. Accordingly, goodhead.ca is a comprehensive guide to mental health care for G2G, designed to be inclusive, accessible and empowering.
goodhead.ca was created by Dr. Mark Gaspar (University of Toronto), Julie Prud’homme (University of Victoria), and Jann Tomaro (McGill University) along with input from community-based research from the Engage team, who study the health of G2G in major cities across Canada. Additionally, the goodhead.ca team worked with a community advisory committee to ensure the site reflected the needs and values of the communities it seeks to serve. goodhead.ca was funded by a CIHR Community Support Grants from the Institute of Gender and Health, with additional support from Dr. Daniel Grace, the Canada Research Chair in Sexual and Gender Minority Health at the University of Toronto.