Ban Conversion Therapy in Michigan: Pass HB 4515 and SB 284

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Michigan House Bill 4515 and Senate Bill 284 will effectively ban the practice of conversion therapy with minors by mental health professionals.

Conversion therapy, also referred to as reparative therapy, is the practice of attempting to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity using professionally discredited practices that can cause great harm, especially among youth who are forced to receive such services by individual practitioners or camps. 

There is no scientific evidence that conversion therapy is effective in changing one’s sexual orientation or gender identity, and rather research supports that it may cause both immediate and lifelong harm, including suicide. A recent study found a 3X likelihood of clinical depression and 5X likelihood of a suicide attempt among youth who had undergone conversion therapy.

All primary U.S. associations of mental health professionals publicly oppose the use of conversion therapy including the American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Counseling Association, and National Association of Social Workers; including those associations specific to providers of mental health care to minors, including American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Academy of Pediatrics, and Society of Adolescent Health and Medicine.

As of April 2019, 16 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico have banned the use of conversion therapy for minors by mental health professionals, and Michigan has an opportunity to be the next state in the US to ban this harmful practice.

We, the undersigned, urge your support of Senate Bill 284 and House Bill 4515 which will ban the use of conversion therapy in the state of Michigan by licensed mental health professionals.