By Jameson Pinette

Many transgender individuals have been stigmatized and marginalized by their communities and deal with issues like trauma, sexual abuse, violence, depression, eating disorders, the emotional impact of HIV and co-occurring psychiatric and addiction disorders. It is more important than ever that we as a community reduce the stigmatization of transgender individuals and fully recognize the impact of stigmatization on an individual’s mental health.

As residents of the founding city for the Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day to bring attention to the continued violence endured by the transgender community, we are suited to look at our barriers and address them accordingly. The staff at the Triangle Program at Arbour-HRI Hospital in Brookline, one of the longest running partial hospitalization programs serving LGBTQ adults in the Boston area, has extensive experience in providing flexible, individualized treatment that comprehensively responds to the complex mental health needs of transgender patients, specifically decisions around transitioning. We do this through requiring training for clinicians on engaging and supporting transgender patients, honoring chosen gender identities at admission and in rooms as well as creating policies which work to create healing environments for our patients regardless, and in support of their sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.

We are open to partnering with the medical community and our neighbors at large to share this knowledge and serve as a resource for these vulnerable patients, particularly in times of crisis. As mental health professionals, it is our responsibility to actively create healing environments for our patients regardless, and in support of their sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. But transgender patients also need community advocates to honor chosen gender identities in the course of their daily lives.

Jameson Pinette is the CEO of Arbour-HRI Hospital, a 62-bed private psychiatric facility providing care for adults with mental illness and addictions. The hospital has distinct programs for women with trauma histories and LGBTQ individuals. In addition to inpatient services, the hospital offers adult partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs and manages an outpatient center for adolescents and adults that includes home-based services.