Syrian transgender refugees: Introduction to factors affecting wellness

Presenter: Vince Pietropaolo, MA; General Manager, Mental Health Services Program, COSTI Immigrant Services
Date: Fri., June 16, 2017



Transgender refugees, as with LGB refugees overall, may face heightened mental health stress compared to straight or cisgender people. Experiences of transphobia, stigma, expectations of rejection and discrimination can negatively affect mental wellness.

Syrian refugees who are transgender may encounter additional sources of stress such as culture-based stigma, isolation and lack of access to support services.

In this webinar Vince Pietropaolo draws from COSTI’s experiences working with Syrian transgender refugees to discuss their particular challenges in building a new life in Canada. This presentation would help build awareness among service providers on factors affecting transgender refugees’ wellness.

Presenter biography

Vince Pietropaolo is the General Manager of COSTI Family and Mental Health Services. In his current position he works with ethno cultural communities in program design, development and implementation in the areas of mental health, domestic violence and problem gambling. Vince currently sits on the York Region Violence Against Women Coordinating Committee, the CAMH Problem Gambling Advisory Committee and the Ontario Resource Group on Gambling, Ethnicity and Culture and the North York Specialized Courts Advisory Committee.

Vince has presented on the issue of Domestic Violence, Men’s Violence and Problem Gambling at conferences in the United States and Canada. He has guest lectured at York University and Ryerson University.

Vince is also one of the Subject Matter Experts for the CAMH Refugee Mental Health Project and online course.