Wednesday, December 11, 2013

IN MY OWN WORDS...CCT Training Review

"In my own words..." is a platform for our community members to share essays, poetry, art, reviews, commentary, etc. “In My Own Words” is not the opinion of Gay Central Valley, but rather the person who submits the article. If you would like to submit something, please email GCV at

Written by Michelle Nastasis

"Shocking". "Heart Breaking". "You're Kidding, right?" "No way that happens". "Devastating".

These were just several of the comments made to Michelle Nastasis as she completed a Cultural Competency Training on Friday Dec. 6 at Turning Point Integrated Mental Health on North First Street for the entire staff of 27 people. This included case managers, support staff, nurses, and counselors. 

The program consisted of the 2 minute video on Gay Central Valley's website (On the day I was born). (Thanks to the GCV staff for allowing Michelle to use the video as part of the program). The 2nd portion of the program consisted of the use of the drill entitled "Coming out stars". The 3rd portion of the program was on the proper use of terminology regarding the entire LGBTQ Community. 

Along with the program above each participant was given instructions on the following items: 1.) the meaning of and the history of the the rainbow bracelets and; 2.) a booklet about the TREVOR Project and its meaning; 3.) how to handle a client who is questioning whether or not to come out to their family/friends and during this part of the program, Michelle stressed safety before all else. Michelle stressed that if coming out puts the client in a dangerous situation (i.e.- being kicked out of the house, being a victim of physical violence, etc.), extreme caution MUST be used in each situation; 4.) how to make use of the resources available to the LGBTQ Community (i.e.- Gay Central Valley, Trans-E-Motion, etc.).

After the presentation, Michelle answered approximately 30 questions about her own coming out, her own journey and how her journey can benefit others within the LGBTQ Community at Turning Point Integrated Mental Health. 

Once the program was over, Michelle has been invited to repeat the program for other Turning Point Mental Health Programs and staff in the next several months. 

Special thanks go out to Kayleia, Lisa and the rest of the Gay Central Valley staff for their help with Michelle in putting this program together. 

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