How to Help Youth Find an Affirming Mental Health ProviderNov 28, 2022
Because conversion therapy is so harmful referring to an affirming mental health provider is essential. Oftentimes your regional children’s hospital will have a resource list. I created my own at my QueerDoc practice. I vetted providers- made sure they used chosen names and pronouns, had name and gender options on intake paperwork, asked about their beliefs around conversion therapy, their experience working with gender diverse youth, and their training to work with gender diverse youth among other things. This vetting process starts with an online form, and I often follow-up with a video chat. Not all clinicians have time to do this- it is a good project for a student or support staff (social workers, nurses, case managers, peer support specialists).
Also, whenever patients mention they see a mental health provider whose name I don’t know, I make sure to ask about how gender competent their counselor is. If it works for the youth and family, I request an ROI. I call the clinician and ask about their training and experience. If they have those- I ask if they would fill out our referral form. If they don’t have those, I ask if I can send them some resources. The letter draft is one of the downloads available to paid members of QueerCME. It includes a format for a formal assessment and these resources for additional training:
- Online, free CE: https://www.lgbtqiahealtheducation.org/resources/in/transgender-health/type/webinar/
- Gender Odyssey- Annual Conference in San Diego, focused on trans youth- https://genderodyssey.org/professional-program/
- Gender Spectrum
- Conference: https://genderspectrum.org/work/conference-and-symposium
- Tons of resources: https://genderspectrum.org
- The Transgender Training Institute: https://www.transgendertraininginstitute.com/
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