Government and Regulations

Treating LGBTQ Youth

SAMHSA releases first publication of consensus statements from a panel of researchers that emphasize gender development, gender identity, and sexual orientation of children and adolescents.


In cases of “gender nonconformity,” conversion therapy is not an appropriate approach for minors, according to a comprehensive review of research and clinical expertise.

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“Ending Conversion Therapy: Supporting and Affirming LGBTQ Youth,” which the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released last month, is the first publication of consensus statements developed by an expert panel held by the American Psychological Association in July 2015. The panel included researchers and practitioners in child and adolescent mental health, with an emphasis on gender development, gender identity, sexual orientation, family therapy, ethics, and psychology of religion.

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The panel concluded that variations in sexual orientation and gender identity are normal. They also found that conversion therapies or other efforts to change sexual orientation or gender identity are neither effective nor appropriate therapeutic practices and are, in fact, harmful.

The report is available at

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