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iHear TransMHPrep

Identifying trans affirmative best practices in providing care during public health emergencies.


2024 - Ongoing


Madhya Pradesh, India (nation-wide data to be collected)


Dr. Anant Bhan



Research shows that transgender and gender-diverse (TGD) persons were disproportionately affected during the COVID-19 pandemic in accessing healthcare in comparison to their cis-gender counterparts. During such public health crises, healthcare responses would often leave out transgender and gender-diverse (TGD) people pushing them to the margins.

Reflections from the experiences of service providers and civil society organizations (CSOs) can better inform policy considerations for future public health emergencies. 

The research team is co-led by TGD persons in consultation with a community advisory board (CAB) that provides a space for co-learning between academic researchers and community partners and long-term community engagement.


Despite the significant mental healthcare burden, TGD persons report limited use of mental health services. This is due to negative experiences with providers and fear of being pathologized, a lack of trans affirmative service providers, and affordability while seeking mental healthcare. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, trans and gender-diverse (TGD) individuals were disproportionately impacted. This is because they were already facing challenges within healthcare and social systems which drastically increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The current study aims to understand and document the experiences of mental health professionals and CSOs in providing mental health and psychosocial support to TGD persons during the COVID-19 Pandemic. It further aims to inform best practices to ensure pandemic preparedness for TGD persons.

Progress till date

The project set up a community advisory board (CAB) which met in March 2024 to provide insights on inquiry, research methods, and topic guides. The CAB comprises of 

  1. Aritra (she/they), Clinical Psychologist 

  2. Aryan (he/him), Psychotherapist, Guftagu Therapy

  3. Busaina (she/they), Peer Support Provider, DEI 

  4. Bala Shanti (she/her), Psychiatrist- Project Coordinator PSDM

  5. KP (they/them), Assistant Professor TISS

  6. Nay (they/them), Peer Support Provider, DEI

  7. Pooja (she/her), Consultant MHP, MHI

  8. Tanvi (they/them), Peer Support Provider PhD Scholar, SOAS

ID: A PPT Slide with the TransMHPrep CAB Members, their pictures, names, pronouns, and affiliations.


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