The Intersection of Race, (Trans)Gender, Sexuality, and Mental Health: Creating a LGBTQ+ Patient Safe Space Through an Experiential Learning Perspective

This session consisted of reviewing a LGBTQ themed vignette. Attendees were divided into small breakout groups, which allowed an experiential learning perspective. After discussing the vignette as a smaller group, the physician attendees reconvened to discuss the case with Dr. Holt as a facilitator. The following topics were discussed during this highly interactive session: LGBTQ+ terminology; the difference between sexuality and gender identity and at what age each can present in youth; issues LGBTQ people face, including coming out, premature disclosure, internalized trans and homophobia; aspects of confidentiality that clinicians should consider when working with gender and sexual diverse students; how to help someone come out; and the mental and physical health disparities found in LGBTQ youth. We also discussed how to create a safe and welcoming clinical environment for LGBTQ+ people.

The audience consisted of American Psychiatric Association annual meeting attendees from across the world. Attendees received complimentary copies of the book PRIDE along with it’s companion LGBTQ+ affirmative coloring book.

Audience comments from those who provided written feedback:

Great primer course on LGBTQ terminology…cases were great and representative of real life. Loved suggestions for making practice more welcoming. Learned importance of starting discussion with patients about gender/sexuality/pronouns/ etc. – New York USA

This helped in a positive way. I learned how to deal better in my private practice – Brazil

Excellent and important topic. Going to add visual signs of acceptance into my office and add “preferred pronouns” to my intake forms. I learned how different people’s awareness is of these issues (seemingly based on location of practice). – New York USA

I learned there is a whole area of terminology in this area that I have to learn. I will try to contact LGBT when I return home. – Denmark

Best session at APA! Thanks so much! I learned how to make my office more open and accepting for LGBTQ people. – Illinois USA

Better understanding of concepts related to LGBTQ community. – Canada

I am really shocked to hear of the stigma there is in the US towards LGBT. – Denmark

I learned how to create a welcoming, safe environment. I will continue to ask questions. – California USA

Great to see that a lot of people are interested in learning more about LGBT health at different levels. – North Carolina USA

I want to have a similar training at my program. I learned people’s points of view and how this is not an issue in Denmark. – El Salvador

I learned how to approach intersectionality related issues confronted by patients. – Missouri USA

Getting from people different perspectives about the issues helped me to understand that there is still a lot to learn about it. I learned very high rates of suicide in the LGBT community – higher than I thought. – Brazil

Dialogue is important. Learned differences in different countries. Excited to continue my work in my community. – West Virginia USA

Will work on greater open-mindedness. Will continue education on this topic. – Maryland USA

I learned terminology and when/how it should be used. Improved awareness and facility as person who is gender affirming of others. – USA