Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Discussion about the Peer Counselling Training and Group sessions - Jan 5 2009

We (Shakti Center and Center for Counselling) had another meeting Jan 5, 2009 on collecting information, making a simple videos using handy-cam to record different reasons what one needs to know about the Sexual Reassignment Surgery. We seem to be having impressive turn outs for our meetings. 

Notes of the meeting from Anirudd - Shakti Center

Minutes of the Peer-Counselling Steering Committee meeting held on 5 January 2008 

People Present:

Magdalene Jeyaratnam - Center for Counselling

Sankari - Center for Counselling

Padma - The Shakti Center

Srivath - Group Session Participant

Teja - Group Session Participant

Praveen - SIAAP (AIF fellow)

Priyababu - SIDA Foundation

Dhanam - SIPTF

Shiva - Sangama

Mohan K - Rainbow Charitable Trust

Venkat Kumar - Rainbow Charitable Trust

Aniruddhan Vasudevan - The Shakti Center

It was a short session to follow up on the little amount of work done after the previous meeting (of 16 December 2008) vis-à-vis the subject of Sex Reassignment Surgery.

Some resources were procured: the Harry Benjamin Guidelines, information on Transgender health from Fenway, Boston, Dr. Marci Bowers' webpage on "genital reassignment surgery" etc. The links were sent to the members on the list by email. (Please let me know if you have not received the same).

Dr. Jyotsna Murthy in the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the Ramachandra Medical College, Hospital, seems to be a person we must meet. She has performed/ overseen the hospital's first full SRS procedure (as opposed to emasculation alone) for Lakshya.

NIMHANS, Bangalore, does not seem have a formal protocol or counseling-related criteria for people going for SRS, besides the diagnosis of "gender dysphoria." We should talk further about this with Dr. Shekar Seshadri in the Department of Psychiatry at NIMHANS.

Dr. Venkatesh Chakrapani is back in the country. He has done a lot of work with transgender women and MSM. His knowledge and expertise might be crucial in our moving forward faster.

So those are three people whom we need to talk to soon!

Immediate work:

To start with, it was decided that we must extract sections from the Harry Benjamin Standards of Care and translate them into Tamil so that everyone here has some idea about what they are. So, people volunteered to read and extract sections and meet to consolidate that work.

This reading-and-culling group will meet on Saturday, 10 January 2009, at 10 am at the Center for Counselling. The volunteers for this are: Magdalene, Sankari, Shiva, Dhanam, Kalki, Srivath, Teja and Aniruddh. But other enthusiastic souls are welcome to join us!

Following that a timetable was drawn for the subsequent meetings of the committee as well as the group therapy sessions. Padma sent this as a separate mail marked "Save this Email." So please save it! I copy it here again: 

Saturday, January 10th, 10:00 AM: Reading-and-culling session on SRS documents
Monday, February 2nd, 3:00-4:00 PM: Peer counseling steering committee session
Monday, February 23, 3:00-5:00 PM: Peer counseling steering committee meeting: project assessment 

We are planning to run group sessions on the following dates:

English group - Timing 6PM to 7.30 PM - Fridays
Jan 31
Feb 7, 14, 21, 28 
Mar 7, 14, 21

Tamil group - Timing 4 PM to 5.30 PM - Wednesdays
Jan 28
Feb 4, 11, 18, 25
Mar 4, 11, 18

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