NQTTCN was officially launched in May 2016, as a call to organize mental health practitioners to establish a network where therapists can deepen their analysis of healing justice and where QTPoC community can connect to care. The digital seeds for NQTTCN were planted in 2015 by founder Erica Woodland in an email to close colleagues and comrades. Deeply inspired by a grassroots group of Queer Therapists of Color, QTOC, which was founded in 2009 to provide support and leadership development to mental health practitioners in the San Francisco Bay Area, Erica combined his clinical experience with movement-building experience to launch this vision.
Through his national movement-building work as the Brown Boi Project’s Field Building Director between 2012-2016, Erica had witnessed the intense need for mental health support for QTPoC organizers and leaders in the movement. His intention for building NQTTCN was firmly rooted in realities that QTPoC practitioners faced in their field: isolation, racism, queer and transphobia, inadequate supervision, and structural failures of the mental health industry.
In the months that followed NQTTCN’s May 2016 launch, the network quickly grew into a community of care, resource sharing, connection, and learning for QTPoC providing and seeking mental health resources. The inaugural group of volunteers and supporters, some who joined the staff and the Advisory Board, came from both direct service and clinical backgrounds, as well as organizing and movement building.
NQTTCN sits at the intersection of the mental health field and movements for social justice. We see healing justice as a critical framework essential to integrate into clinical and collective spaces. Increasing access to spiritual and emotional care resources, a foundation of healing justice, combined with seeing our community reflected in the therapeutic process, is profoundly transformative and groundbreaking. Care has been made even more accessible with the creation of NQTTCN’s QTPoC Mental Health Practitioner Directory and the Mental Health Fund, which provides financial assistance to QTPoC seeking mental health support. Practitioner development and community building have continued to grow throughout local and regional meet-ups and our first national gathering in 2018 at the Allied Media Conference.