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New pilot project to help transgender community in rural Sask.
A new fund is offering help to people the transgender community in rural Saskatchewan.
The Trans Hope Fund gives people in the transgender community the option to apply for up $200 to help them access essential services. The pilot project is the first of kind in the province. Whether it's to help pay for transportation costs or process paperwork for a name change, the fund gives members of the transgender community a helping hand to access life changing and essential health and mental services.
"A lot of people in the transgender community struggle with mental health issues not as the result of being transgendered it's not that in and of itself that hurts us, the reactions of people around us, rejection, isolation, the way we're treated and perceived ,” said Cole Ramsey, the gender diversity representative for Moose Jaw Pride.
The Trans Hope Fund is designed to help people living in Moose Jaw and in the former File Hills Health Region access the resources in bigger centers like Saskatoon and Regina.
According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, the suicide rate in the transgender community is nine times higher than the national average, in part due to the lack of access to resources.
"We recognize this is a life threatening situation we're in right now. 41% of transgender people will attempt suicide in their lives,” said Donna Bower, Moose Jaw branch director of the Canadian Mental Health Association.
The project was created through a partnership between Moose Jaw Pride and Journey To Hope Moose Jaw, a branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association. Journey To Hope donated $2000 to help get the project off the ground.