NASW-Michigan is excited to announce the launch of a new certificate program, Clinical Concerns & Gender Identity: A Training for Mental Health Professionals. This certificate program will educate mental health professionals on the social determinants of health of the transgender community and how to provide ethical, culturally competent, and medically accurate clinical services.
There are an estimated 3 million people in the United States who identify as transgender. Due to social and economic marginalization transgender individuals face many worse health outcomes than the general public. This includes much higher rates of HIV infection, smoking, drug and alcohol use, and a nearly ten times greater likelihood to attempt suicide. Transgender individuals are impacted by housing and employment discrimination, economic insecurity, and discrimination in both psychical and mental healthcare settings.
Even with these known statistics, there have been virtually no intensive training opportunities in Michigan for mental health professionals on working with this population. A lack of competency on the part of the provider often leads to either the transgender individual being forced into the role of teacher, simply choosing not to seek services whatsoever, or receiving potentially harmful and/or inaccurate information. In response, NASW-Michigan has taken the lead by developing this certificate program.
Through a two day training, mental health professionals will explore eight modules:
- Introduction to working with transgender clients
- Cultural competency
- Healthcare policy
- Therapist roles, tasks, and referrals
- Legal considerations
- Medical transition
- Clinical considerations
- Professional and ethical considerations
This training aims to not only better clinical services offered throughout the state, but to potentially save lives by increasing the number of competent professionals in Michigan. This training is aimed at licensed (limited and full) masters level social workers. However, other professionals are invited to attend.