The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) Victorian Branch welcomes the passing of the Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Bill 2020 as an important step in ensuring LGBTIQ+ conversion therapy is no longer practiced in Victoria.
Chair of the RANZCP Victorian Branch, Dr Kerryn Rubin, explains that the RANZCP is a strong supporter of measures to ban conversion practices.
‘It is widely agreed there is currently no scientific evidence that sexual orientation can be changed and sexual orientation change efforts risk causing significant harm to individuals as well as contributing to the misrepresentation of certain sexualities as mental disorders’, added Dr Rubin.
‘Despite our concerns regarding the broad wording of the legislation, we acknowledge and welcome the important step it represents in reducing the impacts of prejudice and discrimination on the mental health and general wellbeing of LGBTIQ+ people.’
‘Our overall aim has always been to support the delivery of high-quality, evidence-based mental health care for the LGBTIQ+ community. While this legislation is not perfect, we are pleased to see that conversion practices are now banned in Victoria.’
’We are committed to supporting the development and distribution of clear guidance for mental health and other health practitioners to ensure that necessary evidence-based practices are not impacted upon.’
The Victorian Branch calls on the Victorian Government to commit to working closely with the LGBTIQ+ community and health professionals to develop appropriate and clear guidance around the ban on conversion practices and supporting the mental health of the LGBTIQ+ community.
For all other expert mental health information, visit Your Health in Mind, the RANZCP’s consumer health information website.
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