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Community Spotlight: Nuriya Neumann
Nuriya Neumann

Nuriya Neumann

Nuriya Neumann is currently working towards her master’s degree in Occupational Therapy at Jefferson College of Health Professions, class of 2018. Nuriya chose Occupational Therapy (OT) because of her interest in focusing on the patient as a whole person through finding out what their strengths and interests are. By using physical and psychosocial methods, she helps people achieve independence in all aspects of their lives—at work, at home and in social and community settings. She graciously took time out of her schedule to share some thoughts with Carter, a member of the QSPACES team.

Question: What type of LGBTQ competency training are you receiving in your program?

Unfortunately, we currently receive very limited LGBTQ competency training in the OT program. The faculty at Jefferson understands the importance of integrating LGBTQ-centered instruction into its coursework and is currently in the process of developing that material but that doesn’t change the fact that such training is not required by the accrediting bodies. Occupational Therapists should be required to undergo comprehensive specialized training, especially given the fact that the profession of OT has its roots in mental healthcare and LGBTQ-identified people face mental health challenges at an alarming rate when compared with the general population.

Although the current curriculum includes evidenced based practices for treating individuals who are experiencing depression, anxiety, and addiction recovery, the curriculum doesn’t make the connection that all of these conditions disproportionally affect LGBTQ folks. At the end of the day, the students are left missing an essential piece of the puzzle: How can a practitioner provide client-centered, competent, and affirming care to the LGBTQ community without specialized training?

Nuriya has written about her clinical internship working with trans and gender variant clients. To find out more visit: http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/healthcare/How-her-trans-clients-taught-this-occupational-therapy-student-to-care-without-judgment.html

Community Spotlight: Phantazia Washington
Phantazia Washington

Phantazia Washington

Phantazia Washington is the Coordinator of the Bryson Institute, the education and training department of the Attic Youth Center (AYC). Founded in 1993, AYC is a Philadelphia-based nonprofit that creates opportunities for LGBTQIA youth to develop into healthy, independent, civic-minded adults. Phantazia is responsible for organizing and facilitating educational trainings about best practices for working with LGBTQIA youth geared towards professional groups from healthcare providers to corporate communities. They graciously took time out of their schedule to share some thoughts with Carter, a member of the QSPACES team.

What barriers to healthcare do LGBTQIA young people face?
Homelessness is disproportionately prevalent for LGBTQIA youth – if you don’t know what you’re eating for dinner then you’re not going to be worried about if you’ve had a physical in the last year or if you’re getting consistent care for a chronic illness.Further, youth engaging in survival sex or sex work often fear they could face legal ramifications if their healthcare providers should turn that information over to the police.

Finally, many LGBTQIA folks, especially those of trans* experience, have had a previous bad experience within the healthcare system which causes them to avoid seeking treatment in the future. For example, going to the doctor with a cold and being questioned about whether they’ve had bottom surgery or being admitted to the hospital and given a bracelet with an inaccurate gender marker can cause a young person to be forced to choose between their mental and physical health.

To request a training, make a donation, or find more information,
visit https://www.atticyouthcenter.org/bryson-institute