Youth Mental Health Protection Act
The Youth Mental Health Protection Act would ban licensed medical providers from engaging in the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy, also known as reparative therapy or ex-gay therapy, on minors. Every mainstream medical association in America denounces it as ineffective and potentially harmful. It is associated with higher rates of depression, self-harm, and even suicide.
The Youth Mental Health Protection Act would enable the state to revoke the license of any medical practitioner that subjects a child to conversion therapy. The bill does NOT apply to clergy.
Every Major Medical Association Agrees
Don’t take our word for it, conversion therapy is a dangerous practice that can harm LGBTQ children. Click here to read letters of support from every major national medical association. In addition, every major medical association in West Virginia supports the ban, too. Read their letters of support below:
“The purpose of this bill is to protect children and adolescents from harmful, potentially deadly, and frankly fraudulent pseudo-therapeutic practices, specifically sexual orientation ‘conversion therapy. As psychologists, we pledge to provide evidence-based and ethically sound clinical treatment.” – Jennifer Mills, WVPA President
“Conversion therapy is recognized as dangerous as it lowers self-esteem and increases risk of anxiety, depression, drug use, homelessness, and suicide for youth identifying as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer. Empirical and anecdotal research does not support the use of conversion therapy.” – Brittany Cooper, Social Justice Chair of the WVSPA
“Homophobia and heterosexism inherent in conversion therapy can contribute to health disparities as marginalization negatively affects the health, mental health, and education of those who experience it. Struggles with self-image and self-esteem result in significant health disparities for sexual minority youth related to depression and suicidality, substance abuse, social anxiety, altered body image, and other health issues.” – Tracy Boyd Acklin, President of WVAAP
“No credible evidence exists that any mental health intervention can reliably and safely change sexual orientation; nor, from a mental health perspective does sexual orientation need to be changed.” – Tiffany Sparks, WVPA President
Track this Bill
As with every bill we advocate for, we’ve seen strong bipartisan support for the Youth Mental Health Protection Act. There are so many delegates and senators who want to sponsor this bill that we’ve had to introduce it multiple times. Click the bill number to be read the bill on the Legislature’s website.
Blogs & News Articles
We need all hands on deck to pass this important bill. As you talk with your lawmaker about why they should support the Youth Mental Health Protection Act, it’s important to have all the facts at your finger tips. This fact sheet will help you out.
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