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Help save a Transgender Mental Health Program in San Francisco

San Francisco's Center for Special Problems has one of the oldest mental health care programs in the country that's focused on people with transgender identities. In addition, many transfolk suffer a variety of other mental health issues like PTSD, depressive /bi-polar disorder, and substance abuse.

CSP's Transgender Program was founded 1n 1966 in the wake of the riots at Compton's Cafeteria. In an effort to prevent more violence, CSP took on not only the mental health issues transfolk, it sought to solve social issues. A part of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, CSP issued photo ID cards in the name and gender preference of the holder. Now a TG person could write a check at the grocery store without having to "out" themselves.

Today the program is under threat. The Mayor and Board of Supervisors have mandated drastic program cuts at the Dept. of Public Health to meet the revenue shortfalls caused by the current recession. SF DPH has ordered the Community Behavioral Health Service, which oversees all mental health care programs in the City, to cut 50% of spending by 30 June 2009. The fat in the budget is long gone now. The Mayor and Supes are cutting down to the bone of services.

CSP's Transgender Program can be saved for very little added expense. It could be merged into CSP's HIV program dividing clinician's time between TG and HIV clients while maintaining a director of TG service who sees TG people only and gives direction to the program.

Please, take a few moment of your time and send letters by email to the people in charge of the system. A letter and list of addresses can be found at: http://save-sf-csp.blogspot.com/ . Your help in saving this program is greatly appreciated.

Joanna Wagner

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