Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Health Professions
Board of Counseling
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4/13/19  7:52 am
Commenter: Farrah Briest

Conversion Therapy, a Suicide Risk

Conversion therapy encourages an internal conflict that is a precursor to scuicidal behavior. It is especially dangerous during the vulnerable time of childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood.

As someone whose adolescent and early adulthood religious faith saw homosexuality as an abomination, I witnessed the danger of conversion attempts. I participated in many, what I saw as loving, attitudes and behaviors that encouraged conversion therapy, but changed my attitudes as I watched a friend struggle to match the heterosexual norms our community and her family strongly encouraged and required of her for acceptance. I was finally changed when she was near scuicide. Thankfully she was an adult by this time and did not have to continue  conversion therapy. She is now a flourishing member of her community, and no longer dealing with the dangers internal conflict that occurs with conversion therapy.  I am frightened and disturbed thinking of the scuicide risk that comes with minors being forced to undergo conversion therapy. It’s a practice that needs to end. We are posing a grave risk to people’s lives and health. A ban is necessary for the health of our people and communities.



CommentID: 71335