Today’s podcast expands upon a subject we have covered in the past, mental health factors effecting LGBTQ children and youth; however in order to have this conversation, the historical relationship between the behavioral health field and sexual minority persons must be acknowledged.
Homosexuality wasn’t removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as a classified mental illness until 1973. Today so-called conversion therapy, or services based on the assumption that homosexuality is a mental disorder and the client can/should change their orientation, are allowed in many US states. Even in the states where conversion therapy is banned, the ban does not apply to faith-based practitioners. This is despite the fact that all expert bodies, including the American Psychological Association, have denounced conversion therapy as abusive and harmful.
Living in a world where you are routinely seen as wrong or sinful, while laws are enacted specifically to disenfranchise you will have a damaging impact on your mental and emotional well-being.
Scientific data demonstrates the vulnerability of our LGBTQ youth. As reported by the National Alliance on Mental Illness:
- LBGTQ youth are twice as likely to endorse persistent sadness and feelings of hopelessness;
- They are four times as likely to have attempted suicide;
- 120% more likely to experience homelessness, often as a result of family rejection;
- Twice has likely to misuse alcohol and drugs, and;
- Have a greatly heightened risk of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
In this episode Patricia speaks with Christine MacInnis, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Christine worked as a school counselor 25 years, and more recently moved to private practice at Transcends Family Therapy, offering affirmative therapy for LGBTQ+ individuals, couples and families. She also serves as a volunteer Board Member of the South Bay chapter of Parents and Friends of Gays and Lesbians, and has a passion for providing affirmative therapy to the LGBTQ+ community and their families