LGBTIQA+ persons rarely recount positive or affirming interactions with mental health professionals. In Nirangal’s experience, several mental health professionals exhibit an alarming lack of knowledge and sensitivity regarding matters of gender identity and sexual orientation. Often, even mental health professionals who express a willingness and sympathetic attitude lack specific knowledge about queer, trans, and gender-nonconforming persons and their issues. Similarly, families often base their refusal of acceptance or support towards LGBTIQA+ persons on ill-informed media reports. Positive and affirming coverage of LGBTIQA+ issues has often resulted in people accessing support groups and services. Wrong and demeaning representations of queer, trans, and gender-nonconforming people in print, digital, and social media have far-reaching effects on not only LGBTIQA+ persons themselves but also on the support and acceptance they can secure from their families and friends. Oftentimes, peer support from within their communities becomes a primary and essential mental health support for LGBTIQ+ individuals.
Project with MHI
Psychosocial and Peer Support to LGBTQ+ communities
Nirangal addresses the above issues by training and sensitizing students of mental health, psy disciplines and related fields, writers and media/journalism professionals, and other important stakeholders such as legal and medical professionals on gender and sexuality on specific issues faced by LGBTIQ+ persons, and how they can employ affirmative practices in their respective fields. In addition, Nirangal works to strengthen existing systems of peer support available to community members by providing training to collectives and informal groups throughout Tamil Nadu. MHI supports their efforts in Chennai, Coimbatore, and Erode districts of Tamil Nadu.
To know more about Nirangal, click here.