WMU: Protections Against Conversion Therapy; Studies Show LGBTQ+ Mental Health Disparities

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WMU: Protections Against Conversion Therapy; Studies Show LGBTQ+ Mental Health Disparities

The Weekly MashUp is a recurring segment on Hear Me Out, the Young Minds Blog, highlighting the most pertinent local and national news for children’s mental health advocates. If you haven’t already, sign up to be on our email list to get the Weekly MashUp delivered to your inbox each week!

News:

California Assembly Passes Improved Protections Against Conversion Therapy
Human Rights Campaign – 4.19.18

AB 2943, a bill taking a stand against conversion therapy, passed in the California State Assembly yesterday (April 19, 2018). The bill strengthens protections against “conversion therapy” by declaring this practice a violation of California consumer protection law. Conversion therapy, which attempts to “convert” LGBTQ+ young people into heterosexuality, has not only been fraudulent, but harmful for LGBTQ+ youth mental health.

A report by the Williams Institute (UCLA School of Law) shows that nearly 700,000 LGBTQ adults in the U.S. have been subjected to conversion therapy, and an estimated 20,000 LGBTQ minors in states without protections will be subjected to conversion therapy by a licensed healthcare professional. The Assembly ruled in favor of the bill on Thursday, taking a stand against this practice.

“Today, California legislators rightfully declared that so-called ‘conversion therapy’ is a complete sham and those who offer this deceptive and dangerous practice must be held accountable,” said HRC National Field Director Marty Rouse.

“California was the first state to protect minors from being subjected to conversion therapy by state-licensed health care providers, and today’s vote is an important step to protecting all LGBTQ people from this debunked practice.”

Studies Across States Highlight Challenges for LGBTQ+ Youth
Reuters – 4.19.18

A study done by the American Academy of Pediatrics study done in California and Georgia looked at the experiences of 1,333 transgender and gender-nonconforming young people, and of more than 13,000 cisgender young people. The studies showed a clear disparity in mental health for transgender (and more broadly, LGBTQ+) young people.

The study reported that LGBTQ+ youth are 3 to 13 times more likely to be diagnosed with conditions like depression, anxiety ADD than cisgender youth, and are at greater risk of suicide.

A second study of 82,000 Minnesota youth highlighted that LGBTQ+ young people are at disproportionate risk of multiple forms of abuse or victimization. “The more gender nonconformity an adolescent reports, the higher their risk of experiencing abuse,” said study author Laura Baams (University of Groningen).

“In nearly all instances, mental health diagnoses were more common for transgender and gender-nonconforming youth than for… cisgender youth,” said Tracy Becerra-Culqui (Kaiser Permanente Southern California), lead author on the study done in California and Georgia.

More Stories:

Major California Insurer Failed to Pay ACA Taxes
California Healthline – 4.17.18

Why Schools in Sacramento Are Seeing More Youth Homelessness
Sacramento Bee – 4.17.18

Campaign by United Way to Help Transition Age Youth
Capital Public Radio – 4.17.18

New Report on Mental Health in California: “For Too Many, Care Not There”
California Health Care Foundation – 3.28.18

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