World Mental Health Day puts a spotlight on conversion therapy

Stephen Fry has spoken out against gay conversion therapy on World Mental Health Day saying more countries need to take a stance against the practice.

“There are many mental health issues faced especially by young people as they struggle to come to terms with their sexual identity, to be out to friends and family. And there are those who are victim to the appalling violence that is called ‘conversion therapy’ that not only doesn’t work, but is led by total ignorance and misunderstanding, hatred and fear. Shockingly there are only 5 countries who have banned this abuse, and this has to change, which is why we are putting a spotlight on it this World Mental Health Day.” Fry said.

The author and actor was speaking in support of OutRight Action International and the first virtual march for mental health.

The international advocacy group has highlighted that studies show LGBTIQ people are more than twice as likely to experience mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation than the general population. Although these numbers are decreasing as societal acceptance grows, they are still much too high.

The virtual March for Mental Health organized by United for Global Mental Health is travelling around the world, it reached Australia at 9:00am this morning and continue through the time zone’s throughout the day.

World Mental Health Day was first marked in 1992 and has become a focal point for discussion about how mental health is supported around the globe. This year the World Health Organisation has called for the focus to be on how societies support people during the time of COVID-19. Locally the day also kicks off Mental Health Week which this year follows the theme of ‘Strengthening Our Community – Live, Learn, Work, Play’.

OIP Staff

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