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The Trevor Project Celebrates Utah Bill Protecting LGBTQ Youth From Conversion Therapy

BY: Trevor News
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24% of LGBTQ youth in Utah reported being threatened with or subjected to conversion therapy in the past year

March 22, 2023 The Trevor Project, the leading suicide prevention organization for LGBTQ young people, celebrates the signing of HB 228 in Utah, a bill that prohibits licensed medical professionals from subjecting LGBTQ youth to conversion therapy — a wide range of discredited practices that attempt to change an individual’s LGBTQ identity. This legislation codifies and expands upon former Gov. Herbert’s executive action from 2020.

“This is an encouraging step forward in the fight to protect LGBTQ youth across the nation from the dangerous and discredited practices of so-called conversion ‘therapy.’ These harmful practices, which are associated with poor mental health outcomes and increased suicide risk, have been denounced by every major professional health and medical organization in the country,” said Troy Stevenson (he/him), Director of State Advocacy Campaigns at The Trevor Project. “We implore the leaders of Utah to follow the guidance of medical experts in all of their law-making efforts and reevaluate previous legislation barring access to medically necessary, age-appropriate care for transgender young people. All LGBTQ Utahns deserve to be shielded from harmful practices like so-called conversion ‘therapy’ while having greater access to care that is affirming and supportive.”

Relevant Research: 

  • According to The Trevor Project’s 2022 U.S. National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health by State, 50% of LGBTQ youth in Utah seriously considered suicide in the past year, including 56% of transgender and nonbinary youth. Additionally, 24% of LGBTQ youth in Utah reported being threatened with or subjected to conversion therapy 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 the U.S. an estimated $9.23 billion, 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 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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