Promoting Behavioral Health & Wellness in LGBTQ+ Communities

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LGBTQ+ individuals don't need "friendly" service providers, they need competent service providers! In honor of Pride month this June, Housing First University is partnering with award-winning sex educator, Erica Smith, to offer some of the most fundemental information you need to provide the comprehensive, affirming, and relevant care your LGBTQ+ service recipients deserve. Attendees will learn about current terminology, identity development timelines, and variations in the LGBTQ+ experience from an intersectional perspective. The latter half of the presentation will include more in-depth discussion of the social disparities, political issues, and barriers to care impacting the health and wellness of LGBTQ+ communities. Presenters will also provide guidance for LGBTQ+ sensitive practices, as well as strategies for interrupting homophobia, transphobia, and microaggressions among co-workers and program participants. Interaction and questions are welcomed throughout the presentation.


1:45-2:00 PM | Virtual training room opens
2:00-2:15 PM | Welcome, introductions, & check-in activity
2:15-2:40 PM | Terminology, Identity development
2:40-3:05 PM | Trans identities, Pronouns
3:05-3:10 PM | Break
3:10-3:50 PM | Systemic barriers, Affirming practice
3:50-4:15 PM | Review & closing remarks, Q&A

Learning objectives
When attendees return to the workplace, they will be able to:

  • Demonstrate basic competency with use of modern LGBTQ+ terminology, including pronouns
  • Name at least three reasons why LGBTQ+ individuals are at increased risk for poor health and social outcomes
  • Name at least three actionable strategies to make your service provision more LGBTQ+ affirming

Target Audience: Social service providers and helping professionals with direct client contact, clinical supervisors, agency administrators, policy-makers, and anyone seeking to gain a greater understanding of LGBTQ+ communities.
Social Work Practice Level: This course is appropriate for beginner and intermediate BSW/ MSW learners 
Content Level: This course covers beginner and intermediate level material 
Course Delivery Format: Live webinar
Interactivity: This course will offer 15 minutes of Q&A time, as well as real-time polling, and group discussion prompts. 
LSW/LCSW Continuing Education Credit: 2 social and cultural competence continuing education credits
Fees: $20 general registration; additional $5 for registration with LSW/LCSW CE credit

Registration includes access to the live event and recording, PDF of slides, and relevant training tip sheets/resources.

Session Facilitators:

Andrew Spiers, LSW (he/him/his) holds a Master of Social Service from Bryn Mawr College’s Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research, where he concentrated in Community Practice, Policy, & Advocacy. Upon graduating, he worked as the Co-Coordinator of the Trans-Health Information Project (TIP) at GALAEI, and served as the Lead Therapist at RHD’s Morris Home— a residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation program in South-West Philadelphia exclusively serving members of the transgender and gender non-conforming community, from 2015-2018. Currently, Andrew is the Director of Training & Technical Assistance at Pathways to Housing PA. Since 2012, he has presented at conferences nationwide on harm reduction, Housing First, and behavioral health best practices for LGBTQ+ communities.

Erica Smith, M.Ed. (she/her) is an award winning and nationally recognized sexuality educator with over 20 years of experience. She received her BA in Women’s Studies from Penn State University and a Master of Education from Widener University's Center for Human Sexuality Studies. For 18 years, Erica provided comprehensive sex education, HIV prevention services, and supportive services to young women and LGBTQ+ youth detained in Philadelphia’s juvenile justice system and child welfare system as part of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Adolescent Initiative. She has also supported transgender youth and their families since 2002. Erica’s areas of expertise are LGBTQ+ issues, adolescent sexuality, adolescent sexual health, LGBTQ+ youth, and the sexual health needs of justice-involved youth.

*CE credit is available to Licensed Social Workers (LSW) and Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) ONLY.  Due to current regulations, CE credits cannot be offered to social workers in the states of New Jersey or New York.  All others: please check with your professional licensing board to see if this course qualifies for credit towards your needed continuing education hours.