New research shows the U.S. spends an estimated $9.23 billion annually on conversion therapy and its associated harms
March 14, 2022 — The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and mental health organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people, condemned the consideration of HB 1077 by the New Hampshire House of Representatives. If passed, this bill would make New Hampshire the first state to repeal a law that protects LGBTQ youth from the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy. Casey Pick (she/her), Senior Fellow, and Troy Stevenson (he/him), Senior Campaign Manager, for The Trevor Project’s Advocacy & Government Affairs team are on the ground this week in Concord, New Hampshire, joining local LGBTQ organizations and community leaders in opposing the consideration of this harmful bill.
“The Trevor Project routinely hears from LGBTQ youth harmed by so-called ‘conversion therapy,’ which our research has found is associated with more than twice the rate of reported suicide attempts,” said Casey Pick (she/her) Senior Fellow for Advocacy & Government Affairs for The Trevor Project. “The amendment to HB 1077 does not change the fact that this bill would make New Hampshire the first state in the nation to repeal a law to protect LGBTQ youth from the dangerous and discredited practice. Permitting licensed professionals to engage in abusive and fraudulent practices – as long as it supposedly isn’t against a minor’s will – flagrantly disregards the reality that youth are often under tremendous pressure to change and are at well-documented risk of family rejection if they don’t. Make no mistake, if this bill becomes law, it will harm LGBTQ youth and erase the bipartisan protections put in place four years ago.”
According to The Trevor Project’s 2021 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, 13% of LGBTQ youth reported being subjected to conversion therapy, with 83% reporting it occurred when they were under age 18. Additionally, a peer-reviewed study by The Trevor Project 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.
Further, a new 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.
Conversion therapy is widely opposed by prominent professional medical associations including the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. For journalists looking to learn more about how to cover the issue of conversion therapy, here is a guide on best practices.
The Trevor Project will join partners and advocates for a virtual press conference on Tuesday, March 15 at 8:30am ET to discuss this bill as well as HB 1180, a bill that restricts transgender women and girls from playing on school sports teams that match with their gender identity.
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.
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.