Prehealth ally safe zone training


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NAAHP 2010 poster on the collaboration between the offices of GMU Health Professions Advising and GMU LGBTQ Resources. For more information about the general Ally Safe Zone program, go to .

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Prehealth ally safe zone training

  1. 1. Introducing Advisees to LGBTQ Health Issues and Professional Communication Ric Chollar (Office of LGBTQ Resources) & Emil Chuck (Health Professions Advising) Prehealth Ally Safe Zone Training Workshop Objectives of Training Increase awareness, knowledge, and skills in order to become more effective allies for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) students, faculty, and staff. Increase the visibility and effectiveness of GMU’s Safe Zone Program by adding to the number of allies providing visible support, encouragement, and resources for LGBTQ people. Promote an open-minded, safe, and welcoming campus environment for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities at George Mason University. Inform participants of health needs and concerns of the LGBTQ community. For prehealth participants: Develop professional sensitivity and empathy for the LGBTQ community by addressing misconceptions, fears, or barriers that detrimentally affect the delivery of health care to the LGBTQ community. For LGBTQ participants: Develop greater confidence and comfort in discussing health issues with health care professionals. Goals of Program Provide visible support and resources for LGBTQ students, faculty, and staff. Provide a way for supportive students, faculty, and staff to visibly indicate that they are a safe contact for LGBTQ people at Mason. Promote increased awareness and understanding about sexual orientation and gender identity. Promote an open-minded, safe, and welcoming campus environment in which students of all sexual orientations and gender identities can live and learn fully. Mission of Program The primary mission of GMU’s Safe Zone Program is to create a safer, more welcoming, and inclusive campus environment; to strengthen community and encourage networking among faculty, staff, and students toward the goal of supporting the well-being of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) people. Compelling need Fewer than 5% of Mason prehealth advisees identify as LGBTQ OR as an Ally (WW Survey). Workshop Agenda 9:30 am Introduction, Welcome, Objectives, and Agenda Develop Shared Ground Rules Purpose of Safe Zone Program 9:50 Concentric Circles Conversations Exercise 10:05 LGBTQ Student Issues and Concerns: Labels, Stereotypes, and Stigma Homophobia and Hostile Climate Definitions 11:15 BREAK 11:25 Transgender Concerns 11:55 LGBTQ Health Barriers, Disparities, and Concerns 12:30 pm LUNCH 1:15 Being an Effective Ally: What an Ally Is and Does 1:55 Improving Health Promotion and Care for LGBTQ People 2:45 BREAK 2:55 Resources for LGBTQ Students: Campus, Local, National, Internet 3:30 Anticipating Situations and Responses 4:10 Commitment to be a Safe Zone Ally Reviewing and Signing Pledge Sheets 4:20 Wrap-up and Workshop Evaluations Day-Long Workshop The Safe Zone Program is given as a seven-hour day-long workshop with speakers taken from campus community members (faculty, staff, and students) who volunteer their time and share their experiences with attendees. November 13, 2009 (13 registered, 6 attended) April 30, 2010 (17 registered, 10 attended) Attendees Pre-registration is required for this day-long program, and often many of the attendees are unable to attend due to scheduling conflicts (work or family-related scheduling). Here is information about the prehealth advisees who preregistered for the November and April workshops run in 2009-2010. Pre-workshop survey results Prior Safe Zone training Have you ever had prior Ally Safe Zone training at Mason? 30 No (100%) Sources and Resources Each participant is given a packet of information that complements the discussion that is planned for the workshop, which includes an Ally registration form and a workshop evaluation. Here are some of the resources cited and source items that are included. What Would You Do? Ally Training Case Scenarios A student who has moved from another state asks you if you know where places are and what events are happening for the LGBTQ community around the DC/Northern Virginia area. What resources list all area events and happenings? A student has just recently become aware that he is gay. He is extremely anxious about his health risks since he has grown up hearing all about HIV/AIDS and how many gay men are affected. He says he doesn’t feel ready to talk with anyone from GMU Health Services or Health Education. To what websites could you direct him? A Latina student tells you she’s fallen in love with her best (female) friend. As she begins to wonder if this means she might be lesbian or bisexual, she has fears how her Latino/Hispanic community will accept her if that is the case. When you tell her about the Pride Alliance on campus, she says “she’s not ready to go there yet” and “besides, she’s not sure if any other Latino students are part of that group.” Where could she contact to find out more about Latino/Hispanic LGBT concerns? A student tells you she’s having intense problems with her parents. She recently told them that she’s lesbian, and they are freaking out. They tell her they never should have allowed or financially supported her to leave their family’s home region to come to George Mason. They blame the school and the DC area for encouraging her to take on this morally corrupt lifestyle. She asks if there are any resources to help parents deal with their children coming out. A male, bisexual student is having trouble with body image and eating disorders. He has heard that there may be LGBTQ-related health care services in the DC area that could help. He has also been told about 12-Step Groups (like Overeaters Anonymous) but wants to find a group that he knows is welcoming to and includes members of the LGBTQ community. What are these services, where in the area would he find an LGBTQ-related health care facility, and LGBTQ-friendly 12-step meetings? Copyright 2010. George Mason University Health Professions Advising & LGBTQ Resources Offices. June 12, 2010 Experienced Student Affairs/Advisors : A prehealth applicant approaches you to review his application, but asks whether it is important to disclose about his ongoing transformation from being a girl as a unique aspect of his interest in medicine and health issues. He is concerned about how admissions staff and students will view him if he goes to interview and any discrimination that he may face. What advice would you give the applicant? What resources could the applicant use to discover whether the schools he wants to apply to are LGBTQ-friendly and sources of support for him should he be invited for interview? Evaluations Pre-registration is required for this day-long program, and often many of the attendees are unable to attend due to scheduling conflicts (work or family-related scheduling). Here is information about the prehealth advisees who attended the November 2009 workshop. November 2009 evaluations <ul><li>What did you find to be most effective about the Safe Zone Training? </li></ul><ul><li>The stereotype exercise on the whiteboard. It is important to know how people feel before you can effectively help with LGBTQ issues. </li></ul><ul><li>I liked the interactive parts of the training that made us all think about issues that we may not have thought about before and share those thoughts with the group. Rotating trainers kept the pace moving and allowed for multiple perspectives to be shared. </li></ul><ul><li>Trainers shared very private and intimate information about their style which gives trainees, particularly those who are hesitant to draw away from prejudice. </li></ul><ul><li>The role play allowed trainees to consider issues and questions they may not have previously thought of. </li></ul><ul><li>The sensitivity of the issue and how we can help with the issues of LGBT </li></ul><ul><li>The role-play  I had the experience of not knowing what to say + had to think hard on it. </li></ul><ul><li>The roleplay really helped, as did the resource list. </li></ul><ul><li>What aspects of the Safe Zone Training would you change; anything about the training that you wish had been done differently? </li></ul><ul><li>It would be nice but impractical to make it even longer. There was so many topics that could have expanded on but for sake of time was cut short. It could be a possibility to develop a SafeZone2 type program that expands on some of the issues. </li></ul><ul><li>I can’t think of anything specific at the moment. I had a great time and learned a lot during the day. </li></ul><ul><li>Possibly a bit more could have been done to advertise this program. </li></ul><ul><li>Seemed pretty good to me – nothing I’d change  </li></ul><ul><li>It was fantastic the way it was. </li></ul><ul><li>Additional Comments: </li></ul><ul><li>I love the healthcare focus of this training. Seeing an example of how intake forms and patient interviews can be adjusted to be more inclusive was very helpful. More examples like that would be helpful. Hearing personal stories about good/bad healthcare experiences from the trainers helped me start a mental list of ways I can be a better healthcare professional. I’d like to see even more focus on the specific issues in healthcare affecting the LGBTQ communities, more personal experiences. </li></ul><ul><li>I am very glad that representatives of the LBTQ community took the time and talked to us, educate us and shared their thoughts, concerns and experiences. </li></ul><ul><li>It was good. The health stuff I was pretty familiar with, actually, and it was just the statistics that were new. Good presentations, good scheduling. Good program overall!  </li></ul><ul><li>I’m impressed. I thought I would know almost everything. I learned a lot. </li></ul>All six respondents rated the training extremely highly with the effectiveness of the training, including the quality of the instructors, resources, and development of confidence to become an Ally. Here are their comments below: Office of LGBTQ Resources George Mason University Other Campus Safe Zone Programs Directory safe_zone_roster.html Healthy People 2010 Companion Document for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health Gender and Sexuality Committee American Medical Student Association Committees/GenderandSexuality.aspx Residency and Medical School Directory programreviews.cfm Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual Issues National Association for Advisors of the Health Professions LGBT_flat.htm Gay and Lesbian Medical Association GayHealth First health and wellness site dedicated to the LGBTQ community. Youth Resource This website for LGBTQ young people takes a holistic approach to sexual health and exploring issues of concern. Contact information: Ric Chollar LCSW ( [email_address] ) and Emil Chuck PhD ( [email_address] ).