Queer Cyprus Held the Pilot Education Series titled “Rainbow Education Programme for Health Professionals and Psychotherapists”

The “Rainbow Education Programme for Health Professionals and Psychotherapists” series was held in collaboration with Cyprus Turkish Medical Association, Cyprus Turkish Physiotherapist Association, Cyprus Turkish Psychologist Association and Cyprus Turkish Psychological Consultant and Guidance Association at the KTAMS conference hall on the 22nd, 29th, and 30th of  June 2024 within the scope of the Rainbow Project funded by the European Union under the Aid Programme for the Turkish Cypriot community and implemented by the Queer Cyprus Association.

Like many places around the world, LGBTI+ phobia manifests itself in our society through various discriminatory attitudes and behaviours. Developed to increase awareness of LGBTI+ rights and social inclusion, the education series called ‘Rainbow Education Programme for Health Professionals and Psychotherapists was organised in collaboration with Cyprus Turkish Medical Association, Cyprus Turkish Physiotherapist Association, Cyprus Turkish Psychologist Association and Cyprus Turkish Psychological Consultant and Guidance Association at the KTAMS Conference Hall on the 22nd, 29th, and 30th of  June 2024 within the scope of the Rainbow Project funded by the European Union under the Aid Programme for the Turkish Cypriot community and implemented by the Queer Cyprus Association.

The training programs created as 4 modules by Prof. Dr. Ahmet Güneyli, Prof. Dr. Şenel Hüsnü Raman, Psychologist Dr. Safir Maner, and Public Health Expert Kemal Elyeli were implemented to enable psychotherapists and health professionals to provide more effective services in the context of LGBTI+ and healthcare services.

The pilot implementation of the Rainbow Training Programs, aimed at equipping psychotherapists and health professionals with knowledge and skills, was successfully carried out with broad participation. Modules 1 and 2 of the programs, designed for both health professionals and psychotherapists, were simultaneously conducted by Social Psychologist Prof. Dr. Şenel Hüsnü Raman on Saturday, June 22, 2024, from 10:00 to 16:00 at the KTAMS Conference Hall. Modules 1 and 2 focused on LGBTI+ terminology and language use, coming out processes, prejudice, discrimination, myths, and the historical context of sexual orientation and gender identity. Modules 3 and 4 of the programs were specifically tailored for psychotherapists and healthcare workers within their respective fields.

The training provided by Psychologist Dr. Safir Maner, specifically for psychotherapists, covered topics such as understanding counselee identity and respecting diversity, creating a safe and inclusive therapy/counselling environment, acquiring therapy/counselling skills for LGBTI+ counselee from various demographic backgrounds, and understanding legal and ethical issues. The training provided by Public Health Specialist Kemal Elyeli, specifically for healthcare professionals, covered topics such as understanding patient/counselee identity and respecting diversity, creating safe and inclusive healthcare institutions/counselling environments, acquiring counselling/intervention and care skills for LGBTI+ patients/counselee from various demographic backgrounds, and understanding legal and ethical issues. The training sessions for Modules 3 and 4, aimed at health professionals and psychotherapists, took place on June 29 and 30, 2024, between 10:00 to 16:30 at the KTAMS building.

At the end of the training program, health professionals and psychotherapists aiming to become trainers received detailed information about the training process. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed with those who volunteered to become trainers. Certificates of participation and appreciation were awarded to the trainees, the program development team, and the training experts.

In a statement by the Queer Cyprus Association, gratitude was expressed to all health professionals and psychotherapists for their strong interest in the “Rainbow Education Programme” aimed at ensuring equality in health and making a difference. They also thanked those who wished to participate but couldn’t due to limited capacity, anticipating their presence in future sessions. Additionally, the association extended gratitude to the administrations of the Cyprus Turkish Medical Association, Cyprus Turkish Physiotherapist Association, Cyprus Turkish Psychologist Association, and Cyprus Turkish Psychological Consultant and Guidance Association for their collaboration and support.

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