RHO Trainings

  • On this page

    1. About RHO’s LGBT2SQ health trainings
    2. Available trainings
    3. What to expect when you request a training
    4. Training request forms

    About RHO trainings

    While LGBT2SQ people have many of the same health concerns as the general population, these health needs are affected by a number of issues that are specific to LGBT2SQ communities, and LGBT2SQ people face several barriers to accessing health care. RHO provides training to assist health care and social service providers in their understanding of these issues and to improve their skills in providing equitable and comprehensive services to LGBT2SQ people.

    When it comes to trans and gender-diverse care, primary health care, such as hormone treatment, is not currently a part of the standard medical education curriculum, and many clinicians have never seen (or believe they have never seen) gender-diverse people in their practice. Trans and gender-diverse people are often referred elsewhere, even when their health needs are routine.

    There is currently strong and diverse leadership for gender-diverse folks in communities across the province, that RHO supports through mentorship and networking. However, many regions of the province still lack services, and RHO is working to improve that, in part through training.

    Rainbow Health Ontario encourages all participants to attend Introduction to LGBT2SQ and Health Needs as a prerequisite to other RHO trainings. All of our training sessions can be tailored and customized for different audiences, including front-line staff, mental health workers, counselors, management or board directors and volunteers.

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Available RHO trainings

Training descriptions in this section

  1. Introduction to LGBT2SQ and health heeds
  2. Introduction to LGBT2SQ emotional and mental health
  3. LGBT Seniors and health needs
  4. Removing the barriers: making your organization LGBT2SQ-positive
  5. Transition in the workplace
  6. Introduction to gender diversity
  7. Trans and gender-diverse primary care
  8. Transition-related surgeries: planning, referral, and care
  9. Counselling, advocacy, and mental health support for trans and gender-diverse people
  10. What counsellors need to know about hormones
  11. Supporting gender-independent and trans children and youth
  12. Attachment and trauma-informed counselling with trans people and their loved ones

1. Introduction to LGBT2SQ and health needs

The interactive workshop provides an overview of LGBT2SQ in North America and a global perspective.

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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. 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.

2. 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 their heterosexual peers.

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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.

3. LGBT seniors and health needs

The workshop explores the impact of aging and LGBT.

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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.

4. 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.

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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.

5. Transition in the Workplace

The workshop is for organizations when staff transition and/ or when a hiring trans-identified staff.

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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.

6. Introduction to gender idversity

For all members of health or social service organizations, this session is an introductory cultural humility module for all members of health and social service agencies, focused on gender diversity.

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This session is delivered in partnership with community facilitators. Learning objectives include: Language, terminology, definitions, history, intersectionality, and social context; social determinants of health for trans and gender-diverse communities; understanding transphobia in the context of other systems (patriarchy, racism, colonization) that influence health care and health care access; recognizing and addressing barriers to care; and providing a welcoming and respectful environment for gender-diverse clients.

7. Trans and gender-diverse primary care

This session is primarily for physicians and nurse practitioners (health care providers who are in a prescribing role), as well as other medical providers.

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For mental health providers who are interested in information around medical transitions, please see What counsellors need to know about hormones.Learning objectives include: initiating and monitoring hormone prescribing; completing assessment, monitoring, and follow-up for hormone therapy; utilizing local clinical guidelines to inform and guide practice; ongoing preventative care for trans and gender diverse clients; and providing holistic community-based transition-related services to trans and gender-diverse clients.

8. Transition-related surgeries: planning, referral, and care

This session is primarily for service providers who can play a role in the surgical referral process in Ontario, including Registered Social Workers, Registered Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Psychologists, and Physicians.

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Learning Objectives include understanding recent regulatory context and the current process of surgical referral; understanding risks and pre- and post-op considerations for 7 funded procedures; planning for successful surgeries with trans and gender diverse people; completing requests for OHIP funding (as primary and secondary referring provider); writing effective letters of referral to surgical providers; supporting clients holistically throughout the referral process.

9. Counselling, advocacy, and mental health support for trans and gender-diverse people

This session is directed at any providers working in the mental health field, as well as others in an advocacy role. It can also be adapted to focus on adult and/or youth populations.

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Learning objectives include a review of language, concepts, and health disparities; standards of care and mental health competencies; understanding how to provide gender affirming mental health care; unpacking common counselling issues (depression, anxiety, relationships, substance use, etc) through the lens of intersectionality, microaggressions, and “minority stress”; practical arts-based tools for clinical practice; working with partners, families, parents, kids, and other significant loved ones.

10. What counsellors need to know about hormones

This session is directed at mental health providers and students who have attended an introductory module and/or have some foundational knowledge of gender identity and social determinants of health.

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Topics covered include new and emerging best practices for binary and non-binary clients’ medical transition; masculinizing and feminizing hormone therapies; providing support to binary and non-binary people undergoing medical transition; exploring central experiences of transition; and practical tools for supporting gender diverse folks through transition options and decisions.

11. Supporting gender-independent and trans children and youth

This session is directed at mental health providers and students working in children’s mental health settings, as well as others in advocacy roles.

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Topics covered include the needs of gender independent and trans children, youth, and their families; supporting families through change, safety, advocacy, and choices around interventions; effective and affirming strategies for supporting children and youth, in diverse settings (mental health, recreation, primary care, etc); evidence-based and informed practices; and information about medical and non-medical interventions.

12 Attachment and trauma-informed counselling with trans people and their loved ones

This session is directed at mental health providers and students who have completed training and/or already have some foundational knowledge of gender identity, social determinants of health, and counselling with trans and gender diverse communities. This session can be adapted to focus on attachment-based work with trans youth/young adults and their parents.

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Topics covered include trauma-informed practice: understanding the impacts of transphobia, transmisogyny and attachment ruptures on mental health; recognizing and reducing microaggressions in clinical practice; and repairing therapeutic ruptures when they happen. Under attachment-informed practice, topics covered include the importance of emotion regulation in work with parents of trans youth; tools and strategies for supporting emotion regulation; best practices working with the family system (siblings, parents, partners & children of trans people); and an introduction to a family therapy model for working with trans youth/young adults and their parents, an adaptation of ABFT (Attachment Based Family Therapy).

What to expect when you request a training

Once you’ve submitted a training request using the forms below, a trainer will review your request and will be in touch with you within approximately 7 business days. Please note that our training spots can be booked months in advance. Our first availability to offer the training you’ve requested may vary according to location, size of the group to be trained, and customization required for your training session.

Training request forms, 1 & 2

To request trainings 1 through 5

1. Introduction to LGBT2SQ and health needs;
2. Introduction to LGBT2SQ emotional and mental health;
3. LGBT seniors and health needs;
4. Removing the barriers: making your organization LGBT2SQ-positive; and/or
5. Transition in the workplace

Please use training request form number one.

To request trainings 6 through 12:

6. Introduction to gender diversity;
7. Trans and gender-diverse primary care;
8. Transition-related surgeries: planning, referral, and care;
9. Counselling, advocacy, and mental health support for trans and gender-diverse people;
10. What Counsellors Need to Know About Hormones;
11. Supporting gender-independent and trans children and youth; and/or
12. Attachment and trauma-informed counselling with trans people and their loved ones

Please use training request form number two.