Session: (WITHDRAWN) Gender-Affirming Treatment for Mental Health Recovery (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

All in-person and virtual presentations are in Mountain Standard Time Zone (MST).

SSWR 2023 Poster Gallery: as a registered in-person and virtual attendee, you have access to the virtual Poster Gallery which includes only the posters that elected to present virtually. The rest of the posters are presented in-person in the Poster/Exhibit Hall located in Phoenix A/B, 3rd floor. The access to the Poster Gallery will be available via the virtual conference platform the week of January 9. You will receive an email with instructions how to access the virtual conference platform.

314 (WITHDRAWN) Gender-Affirming Treatment for Mental Health Recovery

Sunday, January 15, 2023: 9:45 AM-11:15 AM
Valley of the Sun C, 2nd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
Cluster: Gender
Amanda Fialk, PhD, LCSW, LICSW, The Dorm
Amanda Fialk, PhD, LCSW, LICSW, The Dorm, Beck Gee-Cohen, MA, CADC-II, Visions and Jordan Held, LCSW, Visions Adolescent Treatment Center
The goal of this roundtable discussion is to highlight the importance of gender-affirming mental health care and the need for future research on the efficacy of this model. A gender-affirming model of care is to embrace gender diversity and assist individuals in defining, exploring, and actualizing their gender identity, without judgment or assumption. This can lead to greater improvements in mental health and overall well-being for gender diverse, transgender, and nonbinary (TGNB) individuals. Furthermore, this roundtable will address disparities in access to gender-affirming clinical and recovery housing. TGNB individuals seeking supportive housing are faced with barriers to entry, such that those who do not identify within the binary system may be denied admittance or forced to live in a gender-exclusive home that does not align with their self-identity. This marginalization is detrimental and serves as a further threat to the high risk of adverse psychosocial outcomes and high rates of depression, suicidality, self-harm, and eating disorders that TGNB individuals face as compared to their cisgender counterparts. Supportive housing for those in mental health treatment is associated with positive clinical outcomes and increased likelihood of treatment adherence, thus the need for equal access is a pressing concern. Gender-affirming housing is associated with feelings of inclusiveness and community, even for those who fear discrimination at first, yet research on the efficacy of gender-affirming care is scarce, suggesting an imperative need for further examination. The facilitators of this discussion will explore and offer perspective on: 1) The disparities in access to care as well as mental health concerns for TGNB individuals, such as adverse effects of marginalized stress and stigma, 2) Current legislation and the importance of advocacy for affirming spaces, to support TGNB individuals in achieving a satisfactory level of gender affirmation through social, legal, and evidence-informed health services, and 3) The holistic components of a gender-affirming model of care, such as community support and pride, reducing internalized transphobia, and providing psychoeducation for families. This roundtable discussion will outline a gap in the scientific literature and address where further investigation is needed, while offering perspective on an inclusive model of care. Presenters will focus particular attention on the clinical significance of gender-affirming treatment for TGNB teens and young adults. One presenter will discuss the importance of gender-affirming recovery housing and the impact that a lack of inclusive housing has had on the LGBTQ+ population. Additionally, this presenter will explore an effective model of gender-affirming recovery housing. A second presenter will address the impact of belongingness on mental health and well-being. A third presenter will examine the clinical implications of gender dysphoria on the various domains of life (i.e., home, work, school, family, romantic and peer relationships). The goal of this roundtable is to shed light on this highly important gender issue within mental health treatment, and both address 1) the current research on this topic and 2) the need for future research on the efficacy of gender-affirming clinical and recovery housing.
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