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LGBT Training Curricula for Behavioral Health and Primary Care Practitioners


SAMHSA and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) have compiled a list of professional training curricula to improve the health and well-being of the LGBT population.

Review a list of training curricula for behavioral health and primary care practitioners to help them assess, treat, and refer LGBT clients in a culturally sensitive manner. Continuing medical education and continuing education unit credits are available.

A Provider’s Introduction to Substance Use Treatment for LGBT Individuals: Training Curriculum

A Provider’s Introduction to Substance Use Treatment for LGBT Individuals: Training Curriculum

SAMHSA’s Addiction Technology Transfer Program LGBT has developed the first training curriculum specifically designed to help both administrators and clinicians address the various aspects of providing effective substance use treatment to LGBT individuals. The curriculum contains 22 modules to address the specific training needs of a given organization. The training covers such topics as:

  • Legal issues
  • The “coming out” process as it relates to behavioral health
  • How to make a provider organization more LGBT-welcoming
  • Specific clinical guidance for addressing the needs of each of the LGBT populations

Because the curriculum contains numerous experiential exercises, trainings are offered in-person.

Effective Communication Tools for Health Professionals

The HRSA Health Literacy website offers a free, online, go-at-your-own-pace training that has helped approximately 29,700 health care professionals and students improve patient-provider communication. The course includes LGBT populations as part of an overall approach to health care communication and reflects HRSA’s mandate to serve the underserved in a culturally competent way. No-cost continuing education credits are available for a variety of health professionals through professional associations, who will award up to six credits. These professional associations are:

  • American Medical Association
  • American Nurses Association
  • American Academy of Family Physicians
  • American Pharmacists Association
  • American Academy of Physician Assistants
  • American Diabetes Educators Association
  • American Society for Health Education
  • National Association of Social Workers

HIV/AIDS and Substance Use Disorders in Ethnic Minority Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM)

SAMHSA’s Addiction Technology Transfer Center Program Course is designed for behavioral health care professionals working with MSM who have substance use disorders and are at risk for contracting HIV. Each module in this curriculum addresses the distinct needs of the following cultural/ethnic groups of minority MSM:

  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander
  • American Indian and Alaska Native
  • African American

This curriculum was specifically designed for online use and to meet the following goals:

  1. To become familiar with the epidemiology of alcohol and other drug use and the HIV risk of minority MSM populations
  2. To identify important or unique social and cultural influences
  3. To increase awareness of how subpopulations of MSM differ with respect to alcohol and other drugs and HIV related conduct
  4. To recognize and leverage the unique factors that reduce risk of HIV/AIDS
  5. To help to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities within the HIV/AIDS epidemic

For more information, visit the Addiction Technology Transfer Center Program website.

National LGBT Health Education Center Continuing Education

The National LGBT Health Education Center offers a range of educational programs on various topics designed to meet the different learning styles, needs, and time constraints of their audiences. Their programs follow the principles of adult learning and recognize that adults are self-directed, goal-oriented learners who need to see the relevance of the educational material as well as being able to apply it to their everyday practice. A number of the educational programs offer continuing medical education and continuing education units.

LGBTQ Cultural Competency Training

Whitman-Walker Institute offers LGBTQ cultural competency training programs for medical and human service providers to provide them with tools, terms and an understanding of how to better meet the health needs specific to LGBTQ populations. Continuing medical education credits are offered upon successful completion.

Continuing education credits are also available to nurses and social workers. Request an LGBTQ Cultural Competency Training with Whitman-Walker.

Last Updated
Last Updated: 05/26/2023
Last Updated