Ryan Papciak – The Mental Health Advocate

Photo by Carina Mask

Ryan Papciak is Director of Mental Health services at SunServe, a nonprofit that provides mental health services to the LGBT community in South Florida. He is also an out transgender man. “I think I am a role model for other trans individuals that are looking to make an impact in the community,” Papciak said. “I also see myself as a changemaker and someone that is trans that is of leadership role in an organization.” 

According to McKinsey Quarterly, more than half of trans workers are not out at their jobs and two-thirds are in the closet during professional interactions outside of their place of employment.  

“You don't see that very much, especially in mental health organizations. So being able to have the opportunity to serve our community on such a broad scope is hugely important to me,” Papciak said. "And it's my way of giving back to the LGBT community by sharing not only my personal knowledge, but also my clinical expertise in working with trans and gender diverse populations.”

While the general community can experience mental health issues as well, Papciak said that the LGBT community experiences added stressors due to marginalization.

“So it makes it even more challenging to do everyday tasks because you have this additional stigma against you. Maybe it's even from yourself, in addition to society. And so there's a lot of barriers to doing everyday things that the general population does with little issue.” 

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