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Building Nests: Training increases mental health, medical support for Trans, Gender-Expansive Youth

Photo: Rowan Collins

By Rowan Collins

Mental health and medical professionals and students joined together on Oct. 21 to build capacity for the assessment, treatment, and support of trans and gender-expansive young people in the Rochester area.

The training, called Building Nests, was led by Dr. Emma Forbes-Jones, PhD, who works primarily with trans children, teens, and young adults and their families. She says this quickly expanding population are “increasingly coming to mental health providers looking for support and answers, and are often met with stigma, bias and incorrect information. We need to do something about that.”

The day-long training saw professionals and students learn from Dr. Forbes-Jones and Dr. Katherine Greenberg, MD of the Adolescent Medicine program at Strong about assessment of gender dysphoria, best practices in treatment of gender dysphoric children, youth and young adults, and engaged in conversation with a panel of Out Alliance Speakers Bureau members in the afternoon.

“No one comes out or transitions alone – it takes a huge support system,” remarked Out Alliance Education Coordinator, Rowan Collins. “It’s fantastic to see that we have the opportunity to build a network of knowledgeable, supportive, and confident mental health and medical providers for trans and gender-expansive young people.”

Multiple participants noted that none of the information shared throughout the training was included in their social work, mental health, psychology, nursing, or medical schooling. The work to fill in the gaps in understanding, compassion, knowledge, and resources for mental health and medical professionals in the Rochester area continues.

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