Rainbow Health Ontario Training and Education

Rainbow Health Ontario Training and Education

Rainbow Health Ontario provides training and education to improve the accessibility and quality of health care services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer communities in Ontario. We offer a range of services to assist organizations and groups in developing cultural competency with regards to diverse LGBT2SQ communities, including:

  • Training Resources: The RHO Resource Database features a variety of LGBT2SQ health resources, including training manuals, curricula, clinical guidelines and other resources designed to educate health and social service providers.
  • LGBT2SQ Training Sessions: RHO’s training and education sessions are designed to assist health care and social service providers in providing equitable and comprehensive services to LGBT2SQ people. These training sessions can be tailored and custom designed to different audiences including front-line staff, mental health workers, counselors, management or board directors and volunteers.

Trainings offered by RHO

RHO’s trainings are designed for staff and/or volunteers who work in community-based organizations, educational institutions, recreational, residential and health care facilities.

Rainbow Health Ontario encourages all participants to attend Introduction to LGBT2SQ Health Needs as a prerequisite to other RHO trainings.  This introductory workshop will provide a sound foundation to understand and grasp the terminology, complexity of barriers and challenges for LGBT2SQ persons to access comprehensive health care.

RHO requires a minimum of 10 attendees at any training session.  All training sessions are a minimum of 2.5 hours. Most of the education and trainings session by RHO staff are offered on a cost recovery basis. Independent trainers are paid per training session.

We currently offer the following  workshops:

Introduction to LGBT2SQ and Health Needs

The interactive workshop provides an overview of LGBT2SQ in North America and a global perspective. The session addresses the myths and stereotypes, history of LGBT2SQ, assumptions, exploring the differences between sexual behavior versus sexual orientation and gender identity and gender expressions and health needs of LGBT2SQ communities.  The participants will explore various LGBT2SQ terms and definitions, case scenarios and the impact of homo/bi/trans phobia on health. Participants will learn of culturally competent practices and how to provide good care. The session uses a blended learning style utilizing didactic, videos, quiz/ exercises and case scenarios. Presented by Rainbow Health Ontario staff.

Introduction to LGBT2SQ Emotional and Mental Health

Canadian studies show that LGBT2SQ people report higher rates of mood and anxiety disorders, poorer self-perceived mental health status, and higher rates of lifetime suicidality relative to heterosexuals.  Furthermore, there is evidence to show that substance use may be higher in LGBT2SQ communities, and that patterns of use are different. This workshop explores how social stigma, shame and discrimination can affect LGBT2SQ people’s mental and emotional health, including how external negative situations become internalized and how unhealthy coping strategies can develop.  Participants will also learn about practical and psychological supports that can protect the individual and promote resilience.  Presentation includes didactic, interactive exercises, videos and case studies will provide participants with evidence-based learning, new strategies and skills. This workshop is for health and social service professionals; it is not focused on psychotherapy practice. Presented by Rainbow Health Ontario staff.

LGBT Seniors and Health Needs

The workshop explores the impact of aging and LGBT. The session addresses their challenges growing up in an era when it was criminal to be LGBT, the experiences of LGBT seniors navigating the health care system and the lack of sensitive services for senior LGBT. Participants will learn of the societal factors that impact LGBT seniors and how to improve services, provide sensitive and competent health care to the invisible population. Explore the steps to create an LGBT-positive environment in long-term care homes for seniors. Presented by Rainbow Health Ontario staff .

Removing the Barriers: Making your Organization LGBT2SQ-Positive

The workshop uses an anti-oppression/anti-racism framework to examine the process of developing organizational sensitivity and responsiveness to diverse LGBT2SQ communities. The session addresses creating a positive and welcoming work environment for both LGBT2SQ staff and clients. The interactive workshop will explore various strategies such as specific programs, HR policies, community consultation and LGBT2SQ representation in organizations. The workshop will address steps at board level, management, front-line to volunteer to provide and deliver equitable services and access for LGBT2SQ communities. (This session Removing the Barriers is a mini audit of mission, vision, all programs, services, intake forms, all policies, signage, webpage, online contents, online images, hard copies of brochures, , washroom access, etc. This session is usually most effective for organizations after attending the training Introduction to LGBT2SQ and Health Needs). Presented by Rainbow Health Ontario staff.

Transition in the Workplace

The workshop is for organizations when staff transition and/ or when a hiring a transgender identified staff. The session addresses an introduction to sex and gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expressions. We will explore an overview of inclusive pronouns and inclusive language, record of employment and name (legal, preferred/chosen), guidelines as per policy of Ontario Human Rights on Gender Identity and Expression, all gender washrooms, policy for medical transition, parental leave and pregnancy leave for trans and gender diverse persons. Presented by Rainbow Health Ontario staff.

Providing Services for LGBT2SQ Youth

The interactive workshop examines healthy sexuality and creating a safe spaces for queer and trans youth.  The session addresses sexual identity, sexual development, identities and attractions, the coming out process and issues experienced by LGBT2SQ youth.  The session further explores the numerous challenges of LGBT2SQ youth such as intersections of oppression; exploitation, homelessness, harassment, school bullying, violence, peer-pressure and vulnerability.  Participants will learn of various tools for providing services for youth and community links to resources developed for youth by youth.  Presented by Supporting Our Youth staff.

The Relationship Game

The Relationship Game (for Service Providers) is a tool that facilitates communication with young people of any and all sexual and gender identities to identify and explore power imbalances in relationships. It strengthens the capacity of service providers in assisting youth in making more informed relationship choices for improved sexual and emotional health. Using various scenarios in both individual reflection and large group discussion format, it enables young people to identify areas of concern, build self-awareness, increase negotiation skills, explore options, and strengthen their emotional vocabulary. Presented by Supporting Our Youth staff.

LGBT2SQ newcomers

LGBT2SQ newcomers, immigrants and refugees face many barriers to access services. Community programs and service providers often are not aware of the complexities that come with multiple levels of social oppression associated with the various identities carried by LGBT2SQ newcomers.  Through our work with young newcomers – who are often facing homophobia, transphobia and racism while living in poverty – we are able to help build a more elaborate understanding of the barriers to health, wellbeing and social inclusion that this population faces on daily basis. Presented by Supporting Our Youth staff.  http://www.soytoronto.org/

Queering the Family Tree: Welcoming LGBT2SQ Families

This workshop explores the question: What does it mean to be an LGBT2SQ-positive service provider to LGBT2SQ families?  The interactive presentation addresses some of the commonly-held negative ideas about LGBT2SQ people raising children;  offers some interesting findings from recent research on LGBT2SQ parenting; and some practical suggestions for service providers interested in making their programs and services more accessible and welcoming to LGBT2SQ families.  Key to this workshop’s success is a comfortable and open environment where participants are free to ask lots of questions. Workshops can be custom-designed, and have been offered to practitioners and students in health care, social work, education, supervised visitation, family resource programs, and midwifery.  Presented by LGBT2SQ Parenting Network staff.

Workshops for Adoption/Foster Care Workers and/or Foster Parents

Workshop content is similar to “Queering the Family Tree” workshop (see above), with special emphasis on the results of a research project conducted in partnership with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.  The study, “LGBTTT Adoption in Ontario: Policy, Practice & Personal Narratives,” surveyed adoption agencies in Ontario about their policies and procedures related to LGBT2SQ adoption and interviewed 43 LGBT2SQ adoptive parents.  The workshop addresses both positive and negative experiences with the adoption system, and emphasizes practical strategies for adoption/foster care workers and foster parents who are interested in creating a more welcoming environment for LGBT2SQ families. Presented by LGBT2SQ Parenting Network staff.

LGBT2SQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer) Training for Fertility Clinics and Sperm Banks

Specifically designed for fertility clinics and sperm banks and informed by years of experience working with LGBT2SQ people accessing assisted human reproduction (AHR) services, trainings include definitions and language; history and social context of LGBT2SQ family creation; commonly-held negative ideas about LGBT2SQ parenting; recent research on children growing up in LGBT2SQ families; examples of how homophobia, transphobia and heterosexism play out in AHR services; issues for LGBT2SQ people in relation to the Assisted Human Reproduction Act; practical suggestions for making AHR services more accessible and welcoming to LGBT2SQ families, including trans clients; information about local services and programs for LGBT2SQ families. Presented by LGBT2SQ Parenting Network staff.

Workshops for LGBT2SQ Parents and Prospective Parents

Workshops can be custom-designed depending on needs and interests of participants.  All workshops explore practical, emotional, social and legal issues related to LGBT2SQ parenting.  Workshop for prospective parents can include issues of entitlement to parent, how to “talk back” to commonly-held negative ideas about LGBT2SQ parenting; fertility awareness, insemination options and procedures, parenting arrangements, co-parenting, adoption and fostering, surrogacy, birth options, legal issues and more.   Workshops for LGBT2SQ parents who had children within heterosexual contexts can include coming out to children, parenting arrangements, negotiating with ex-partners, step and/or co-parenting, blended families, and more.  Presented by LGBT2SQ Parenting Network staff.

Classroom Presentations

The LGBT2SQ Parenting Network provides workshops, lectures, keynote addresses and panel presentations on LGBT2SQ parenting issues to high school, college and university students. We have spoken in programs including gender and sexuality studies, sociology/anthropology, history, political science, criminology, law, midwifery, medicine, nursing and family studies. Presented by LGBT2SQ Parenting Network staff. http://www.LGBT2SQparentingconnection.ca

Visit our Training page for more information on sessions or to request a training.

For questions and training enquiries contact Devan Nambiar, Education Coordinator, at dnambiar@rainbowhealthontario.ca  or 416-324-4100 ext. 5262.