Competent, ethical mental health care

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The proposed legislation does not deprive minors of access to competent, ethical mental health care.

There are appropriate therapeutic interventions for individuals experiencing distress due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. These effective, ethical approaches focus on providing accurate information about sexual orientation and gender identity, reducing internalized negative attitudes, and strengthening family and community ties.

Changes in societal acceptance of LGBT people have made coming out possible for contemporary youth, yet the age of coming out now intersects with the developmental period characterized by potentially intense interpersonal and social regulation of gender and sexuality, including homophobia. Given this social/historical context, and despite increasing social acceptance, mental health is a particularly important concern for LGBT youth.

Adolescence is a critical period for mental health because many mental disorders show onset during and directly following this developmental period. The minority stress model has provided a foundational framework for understanding sexual minority mental health disparities. It posits that sexual minorities experience distinct, chronic stressors related to their stigmatized identities, including victimization, prejudice, and discrimination, in addition to everyday or universal stressors. Minority stressors create a hostile and stressful social environment that disproportionately compromise the mental health and well-being of LGBT people.

AboutPaloma Schultz