Non-Binary Working Group - mental health sub-group minutes: 25 September 2021

Minutes from the meeting of the sub-group on 25 September 2021.

Attendees and apologies

Group members

  • Dr Ben Vincent, (Chair)
  • Oceana Maund, Scottish Trans
  • Vic Valentine, Scottish Trans
  • Sarah Anderson, LGBT Youth Scotland 
  • Megan Snedden, Stonewall Scotland
  • Katrina Mitchell, LGBT Health and Wellbeing
  • Dr Carolynn Gray, University of the West of Scotland
  • Dr Peter Dunne, University of Bristol
  • Non-Binary Community Members


  • Paul Sloan, Equality and Inclusion Division, Scottish Government
  • Laurie Donaldson, Equality and Inclusion Division, Scottish Government


  • Carole Teale, Mental Health, Scottish Government

Items and actions

Note of key points and actions

Key discussion points

The group discussed:

Mental Health Services for Non-Binary People

  • exploring the creation of a hybrid community model for mental health services, that could be co-designed by non-binary people
  • specific training for all mental health professionals – drawing on the experience of organisations such as LGBT Health and Wellbeing
  • exploring the Directed Enhanced Service model used in Wales further in relation to trans healthcare
  • ensuring EQIAs are carried out for mental health first aid training for staff in all public bodies, making sure that trans, including non-binary people, are integrated throughout, especially young people


  • funding sources for mental health services and projects delivered by the third sector
  • exploring co-commissioning services between the third sector and NHS
  • over-generalised mental health funding

Mainstream and specialist services

  • including trans and non-binary people in mainstream services
  • the importance of practitioners having a basic understanding of gender identity and how it affects mental health to prevent barriers for trans/non-binary people
  • how channelling people into a trans specialist service, rather than a generalised service, may further exacerbate waiting times
  • trans people being able to access mental health support in general mental health services - outside a Gender Identity Clinic (GIC) setting - in a timely manner
  • the pathologised nature of access to healthcare and training in this area
  • how difficulties in obtaining diagnosis, especially for non-binary people, from a GIC can impact the right to legal gender recognition
  • GICs can be a difficult experience for neurodivergent people
  • the possibility of feeding into the Scottish Government’s work on identifying poorer outcomes for autistic people, ensuring that non-binary autistic people were consulted

Wider work

  • educating wider society and moving to view transphobia in the same way we see homophobia and racism
  • the tone of the public debate around trans rights has a profound impact on people’s mental health and wellbeing

Action: The group will invite LGBT Health and Wellbeing practitioners to the next meeting of the subgroup to share some of their experience and expertise in mental health.

Action: Officials to provide the group with further information regarding mental health services which are currently co-designed with young people.

Action: Scottish Government Officials to find out how the working group could feed into to the ongoing work on mental health reform and associated work.

LGBTI Equality Team

August 2021

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