SASOD raises LGBT Mental Health at Cuso Volunteer Forum

On December 4, 2014, SASOD’s Managing Director, Joel Simpson, gave a presentation on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) human rights issues to SASOD partner organization Cuso International, an Ottawa-based international development NGO, at the Grand Coastal Hotel on the East Coast of Demerara.  He was followed by sociologist, Dr. Ryan Higgitt, providing Cuso with an overview on his research on LGBT mental health in Guyana. Dr. Higgitt is a Cuso Volunteer currently attached to SASOD as Mental Health Researcher.  Simpson drew attention to the discrimination faced by LGBT Guyanese and how it leads to mental health issues, while Higgitt underscored how recent statistics offered by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) illustrate the way suicide mortality tends to take on specific socio-historical patterns that call into question fundamental tenets of a modern medical model which reduce mental illness to an ‘individual’ problem.  

Simpson (standing) presenting at the Cuso Volunteer Forum on December 4, 2014