Even more resources for migrant and racialized LGBTQ2S+ people?

Even more resources for migrant and racialized LGBTQ2S+ people?

Faced with a problem of access to care for migrant and racialized LGBTQ2S+ people, a team of professionals set up an innovative project: the Mauve Clinic. Founded in 2020, it combines health, training and support for a marginalized population. Now, the clinic would like to transform into Maison Mauve to increase its involvement.

The idea would be to create a Mauve House, like the model of La Maison Bleue [an organization that helps pregnant women in a vulnerable position]. What is interesting with this model is that it is a collaboration between the public sector and the private sector: the services are received within the Maison Bleue, but the professionals who intervene there are health professionals and social services that are sent by the CLSCs.

Ahmed Hamila, researcher and general coordinator of the Mauve Clinic

The process began just before the pandemic when University of Montreal professor Edward Ou Jin Lee approached Dr. Pierre-Paul Tellier, an expert in adolescent medicine and the health of LGBTQ2S+ populations, as well as Dr. Vania Jimenez , one of the co-founders of La Maison Bleue.

While the arrival of COVID-19 in our lives has exacerbated the needs of Clinique Mauve's clientele, it has also enabled the project to obtain funding from the Foundation for advancement of family medicine.  

Now that the second phase of the project is coming to an end, the various grants are also coming to an end soon. The challenge therefore lies in funding the Clinique Mauve so that it can move from a pilot project to a sustainable model that could spread throughout Quebec.  

Composed of family physicians, nurse practitioners, a psychologist and social workers, the Mauve Clinic offers free general or specific medical services to people in transition or those with HIV. All care is integrated and therefore coordinated within the network of professionals. There is also mental health assistance for clients who may have suffered serious trauma.

Most of the people I see have suffered significant trauma, because many come from countries where homosexuality or trans identity is illegal, which puts them at risk of prison or death.

Dr Pierre-Paul Tellier, doctor at Clinique Mauve

The Mauve Clinic has also given itself the mission of training health professionals in different approaches (intersectional, anti-oppressive or trans-identity, for example) to help them better intervene with migrant LGBTQ2S+ people and racialized. “These are approaches that are not always found in the curriculum of doctors, nurses or psychologists,” explains Ahmed Hamila, researcher and general coordinator of the clinic.

According to Dr. Pierre-Paul Tellier, you have to think about training all the staff of a clinic, even those at the reception.

The doctor explains, for example, that very few of his Montreal counterparts are trained to offer gender affirmation services for the trans population.

To fill this gap, a team of researchers has launched training to help health and social services professionals meet the needs of trans and non-binary people, we learned during the conference of the Association francophone to find out (Acfas) which has been held in recent days.

Added to the concept of the clinic are peer navigators, i.e. racialized LGBTQ2S+ people who have themselves had to navigate the Quebec healthcare system and who have been recruited to support LGBTQ2S+ people. migrants whose language they share. Their role can take many forms, such as accompanying patients to their appointments, serving as their interpreter or simply being a contact to get them out of loneliness. It is precisely to break the isolation of its clientele that the Mauve Clinic also organizes social events.

The Mauve Clinic, which currently offers its services by being associated with establishments such as the Clinique l'Actuel and the CIUSSS du Centre-Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, seeks to maintain a rather short waiting list, but it is getting longer all the same as its notoriety grows within the community.

The hundred or so patients who have been followed there have also been able to evaluate the services received. “What emerges is that the Mauve Clinic makes it possible to get out of isolation and break down certain barriers to access to care”, confirms the general coordinator, who hopes to receive the necessary funding for the continuation of the project.

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