New HHS Report Offers Updated, Evidence-Based Roadmap for Supporting & Affirming LGBTQ+ Youth
A new report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides a comprehensive overview of the scientific research and consensus that LGBTQ+ youth are resilient and can thrive when they are supported and affirmed, but that pervasive discrimination, rejection, and bullying has led to a nationwide mental health crisis among LGBTQ+ youth. The report finds that this crisis is most acute for transgender youth, whose mental health and wellbeing is put at risk by policies that seek to restrict their access to appropriate health care and inclusion at school. The report, Moving Beyond Change Efforts: Evidence and Action to Support and Affirm LGBTQI+ Youth, strengthens previous findings that it is normal and healthy for children to identify as LGBTQ+ and that all children should have their sexual orientation or gender identity affirmed and supported. The report also strengthens previous findings that sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) change efforts, commonly known as so-called “conversion therapy,” are never appropriate for youth, are ineffective, and can cause significant harm.