Giving Back with MAX

Supporting health and wellness for guys into guys 

As the pandemic rages on, affecting every part of our society, one thing remains steadily true:  the queer community continues to be one of the hardest hit. Due to COVID-19, queer people face more challenges with employment security, financial security, and physical and mental health. 

Impact of COVID-19 on the queer community

A study conducted by Égale and Innovative Research Group found that the COVID-19 pandemic had significant impacts in the LGBTQI2S+ community. In general, LGBTQI2S+ households reported to be less confident in their financial situation than the average Canadian household. These statistics are expected to get worse as the end to the global pandemic remains unknown. 

  • 53 % of LGBTQI2S+ households have faced employment loss
  • 42% of LGBTQI2S+ people reported significant impacts on their mental health
  • 21% of LGBTQI2S+ people with chronic illnesses reported a significant impact on their physical health
  • 10% of LGBTQI2S+ people were more likely to self-isolate due to the pandemic.

These problems facing the queer community are hardly new.

A 2019 Sex Now survey of GBT2Q men’s health found that over 50 per cent of participants needed help with problems related to depression, anxiety, and loneliness.  One in five GBT2Q men indicated they needed support with suicidal thoughts. The pandemic worsens these already troubling issues. While social distancing limits access to friends and other support systems, and financial problems limit queer people’s ability to seek help.

How MAX Ottawa supports the queer community

MAX Ottawa’s support for Ottawa’s queer community is critical at this time of isolation and heightened anxieties. Our work is vital in providing stability and aid to the community for issues that the pandemic has worsened. The money we receive through fundraising goes to increasing peer support program capacity, the number of support groups offered, and online engagement programming. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have effectively launched the following programs  as part of our COVID-19 strategy to better support the needs of the community:

These programs are designed to provide support systems to those suffering mental, physical, or financial issues from the pandemic.

“It felt really good just to be able to talk things through with someone who gets it. That’s half of getting through any life problem.”

– MAX Ottawa Peer Support Program Client

“The supportive environment that MAX Ottawa provided me helped me navigate the whole pandemic. MAX is a community that cares and I am thankful for their programs and services.”

– MAX Ottawa Peer Support Program Client

“I think MAX is a great organization that has responded rapidly in the face of COVID-19. I am very impressed with the amount and quality of virtual services that have evolved during these uncertain times.”

 – MAX Ottawa Online Engagement Program Participant

How you can support MAX

This week, as the Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign (GCWCC) launches, we kindly ask you to consider supporting MAX Ottawa so we can continue to advance health and wellness for guys into guys.

Charity name: Ottawa Gay Men’s Wellness Initiative / Initiative pour le mieux être des hommes gais d’Ottawa
Business/Registration number 82804 6771 RR0001

You can also donate to our organization through: