As the leading national suicide prevention and crisis intervention nonprofit organization, The Trevor Project is on the forefront of fighting against “conversion therapy” and commends Governor Peter Shumlin and the Vermont State Legislature for passing Senate Bill 132. This bill, in effect July 1, 2016, protects Vermont LGBTQ youth from mental healthcare providers attempting to change their sexual orientation or gender identity through practices which treat substance abuse, extreme depression, and suicide. Passed just a month after Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed Senate Bill 1556, which allowed mental healthcare providers to deny treatment to LGBTQ people, Senate Bill 132 justly prioritizes the mental health and well-being of LGBTQ youth.
While The Trevor Project fights to save young lives 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, we know that over 41% of trans people have reportedly attempted suicide, and LGB youth are four times as likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers. Conversion efforts pose critical health risks to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, including depression, shame, decreased self-esteem, social withdrawal, substance abuse, risky behavior, and suicidality. There is no credible evidence that conversion therapy can change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, and in fact, this heinous practice has been condemned by The American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.
Thankfully, Vermont youth can now confidently walk into mental healthcare providers’ offices knowing that they will not be subjected to conversion therapy.. The Trevor Project continues to work closely with other policy makers and organizations around the nation to provide information about the detrimental effects of conversation therapy on LGBTQ youth. For more information, visit thetrevorproject.org.
Executive Director and CEO, The Trevor Project
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