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The Trevor Project Applauds Pennsylvania Governor for Protecting LGBTQ Youth From Conversion Therapy

BY: Trevor News
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LGBTQ youth who were threatened with or subjected to conversion therapy reported more than twice the rate of attempting suicide in the past year

August 16, 2022 — The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and mental health organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people, commended Gov. Wolf of Pennsylvania for signing an executive order today that discourages the use of taxpayer dollars and state-sponsored health insurance plans for the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy. The order will also put measures in place to ensure state offices implement culturally appropriate care and services to LGBTQ constituents.

“Taxpayers’ dollars must never again be spent on the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion ‘therapy’ — which has been consistently associated with increased suicide risk and an estimated $9.23 billion economic burden in the U.S.,” said Troy Stevenson (he/him), Senior Campaign Manager for Advocacy and Government Affairs of The Trevor Project. “Thank you Gov. Wolf for your leadership and for taking bold action to protect and affirm LGBTQ young people across the Commonwealth. We urge the state legislature to pass comprehensive state-wide protections and for governors across the nation to follow the Keystone State’s lead in ending this abusive practice.”

Advocates from The Trevor Project attended today’s signing of the executive order, commemorating it as a victory for LGBTQ young people in the state. On Wednesday, The Trevor Project will be hosting a town hall meeting in Philadelphia to discuss the impact of the executive order with community members.

With the signing of this executive order, Pennsylvania is now the 27th state in the country to enact statewide protections against the practice of conversion therapy.

Relevant Research: 

  • 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.

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