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The Trevor Project Supports 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

February 6, 2023 — The Trevor Project, the leading suicide prevention organization for LGBTQ young people, voiced its support for HB 228, a bill introduced in the Utah House, which would prohibit licensed medical professionals from subjecting LGBTQ youth to conversion therapy. HB 228 aims to build upon and enshrine statewide protections from an executive order signed by former Gov. Herbert in 2020 prohibiting conversion therapy on minors by regulation. The bill will be considered today in the House Business and Labor Committee at 3:40 p.m. MST.

“It is encouraging to see momentum for legislation aimed at increasing protections for LGBTQ youth from the dangerous and discredited practice of so-called ‘conversion therapy,’” said Troy Stevenson (he/him), Director of State Advocacy Campaigns at The Trevor Project. “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. We urge Utah lawmakers to advance this legislation and join in the growing number of states that have enacted such protections.”

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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