LGBTQ youth who were threatened with or subjected to conversion therapy reported more than twice the rate of attempting suicide in the past year
October 10, 2022 — The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and mental health organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people, applauded the Cleveland City Council for passing a municipal ordinance today that will prohibit licensed medical professionals from subjecting LGBTQ youth to the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy.
The Trevor Project has worked closely with Equality Ohio, local advocates, and community members to help bring this legislation forward. Cleveland is the 10th city in Ohio to enact such protections, joining the cities of Cincinnati, Toledo, Columbus, Dayton, Athens, Lakewood, Kent, Cleveland Heights, and Reynoldsburg.
“It is heartening to see Cleveland join the growing number of cities across Ohio taking a stand to support LGBTQ youth by passing protections from the harms of so-called conversion ‘therapy’ — which has been consistently associated with increased suicide risk,” said Gwen Stembridge (she/her), Advocacy Campaign Manager for The Trevor Project. “This would not be possible without the partnership of grassroots advocates, community leaders, and organizations like Equality Ohio. We hope that Cleveland’s bold action sparks statewide leaders across The Buckeye State to follow suit with increased protections for LGBTQ youth throughout Ohio.”
“Practices of so-called conversion ‘therapy’ are not only immoral and ineffective, they are extremely harmful. Our precious youth deserve to feel seen, accepted and loved — and that’s exactly what Cleveland has done by passing this ordinance,” said Alana Jochum (she/her), Executive Director for Equality Ohio. “There is mounting evidence against the long-term physical and psychological impacts of conversion therapy. The only solution is to prohibit the practice and give parents the most accurate information on how to best support their LGBTQ children. Until Ohio protects our youth against this harm statewide, we will continue to support these ordinances one locality at a time.”
- According to The Trevor Project’s 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, 17% of LGBTQ youth reported being threatened with or subjected to conversion therapy — and those who were reported more than twice the rate of attempting suicide in the past year.
- Further, a peer-reviewed study by The Trevor Project published in the American Journal of Public Health 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 an estimated $9.23 billion in the United States annually.
For journalists looking to learn more about how to cover the issue of conversion therapy, here is a guide on best practices.
If you or someone you know needs help or support, The Trevor Project’s crisis counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386, via chat at TheTrevorProject.org/Get-Help, or by texting 678678.
About The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project is the world’s largest suicide prevention and mental health organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people. The Trevor Project offers a suite of 24/7 crisis intervention and suicide prevention programs, including TrevorLifeline, TrevorText, and TrevorChat as well as the world’s largest safe space social networking site for LGBTQ youth, TrevorSpace. Trevor also operates an education program with resources for youth-serving adults and organizations, an advocacy department fighting for pro-LGBTQ legislation and against anti-LGBTQ rhetoric/policy positions, and a research team to discover the most effective means to help young LGBTQ people in crisis and end suicide.