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Pennsylvania Becomes the Latest State to Pass Comprehensive Protections Against Conversion Therapy

BY: Trevor News
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An estimated 16% of LGBTQ+ young people in Pennsylvania reported being threatened with or subjected to conversion therapy in the past year

May 2, 2024The Trevor Project, the leading suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ+) young people, released the following statement in response to news that five Pennsylvania state boards adopted new policies related to conversion therapy: 

Statement from Troy Stevenson (he/him), Director of State Advocacy Campaigns at The Trevor Project 

“Today, we are pleased to share that Pennsylvania has joined 22 other states and the District of Columbia in the U.S. to comprehensively ban the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy by licensed mental health providers. Despite every major medical and mental health association in the country denouncing this practice, conversion therapy is, tragically, still very much an ongoing and pervasive practice that traumatizes young people all across the country.” 

“The Trevor Project’s research found that young people who reported undergoing conversion therapy were more than twice as likely to report having attempted suicide in the past year. Knowing that an estimated 44% of LGBTQ+ youth, including 54% of transgender and nonbinary youth, in Pennsylvania seriously considered suicide in the past year, these actions are especially critical for ensuring the health and safety of young people across the state. We are grateful to the Shapiro administration, the Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs, the National Association of Social Workers Pennsylvania Chapter, the Pennsylvania Psychological Association, PFLAG, National Center for Lesbian Rights, the Human Rights Campaign, and mental health professionals and advocates across the commonwealth, for their work over the last several years to protect the mental health and well-being of young people across the commonwealth.”

Relevant data:

  • A peer-reviewed study by The Trevor Project’s researchers found that LGBTQ youth who underwent conversion therapy were more than twice as likely to report having attempted suicide and more than 2.5 times as likely to report multiple suicide attempts in the past year. 
  • A peer-reviewed study published in JAMA Pediatrics found the practice of conversion therapy on LGBTQ youth, and its associated harms – such as substance abuse and negative mental health outcomes, including depression, anxiety, and suicide attempts – cost the U.S. an estimated $9.23 billion, annually. 
  • The Trevor Project’s 2024 U.S. National Survey on the Mental Health of LGBTQ+ Young People found that 13% of LGBTQ+ young people reported being threatened with or subjected to conversion therapy.


If you or someone you know needs help or support, The Trevor Project’s trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386, via chat at TheTrevorProject.org/Get-Help, or by texting START to 678678.

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