In Profile: Monica Ghabrial

Monica Ghabrial
Monday, April 16, 2018 - 9:28am
Nicolle Wahl

Monica Ghabrial, a psychology PhD candidate, studies intersectionality, qualitative research, action research, women’s health, and sexual and ethnic minority well-being. In particular, she focuses on the unique experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Queer people of colour (LGBTQ-POC).

Her research uses a combination of qualitative interviews and quantitative measures to investigate the discrimination, identity conflicts and resulting chronic stress that this population faces, as well as the great resilience they exhibit.

“Depression, anxiety and stress take a toll on a person’s physical health,” says Ghabrial. “They exist in a state of ‘hypervigilance’.” Yet within this population, says Ghabrial, a strong sense of community and a shared activism help to create resilience.

Ghabrial recently received a $25,000 grant from the CIHR Institute of Gender and Health, called the Hacking the Knowledge Gap Trainee Award for Innovative Thinking to Support LGBTQI2S Health and Wellness.

“There was an existing breadth of research that I could draw on,” says Ghabrial, while noting that there are limited funds for LGBTQ+ funding and resources to support her research. As a result, she says, she is extremely grateful for the opportunity that the CIHR grant provides.

“This allows us to close the gap between what we know and what we do,” says Ghabrial, who is working with two other winners of the grants to design a campaign. “We hope to reduce mental health care barriers for LGBT youth.”

Ghabrial completed her B.Sc. at the University of Guelph and her MA at U of T. She is supervised by Assistant Professor Judith Andersen, and is based primarily at the Health Adaptation Research on Trauma (HART) Lab at the U of T Mississauga campus.