Mark Ward TD has described loopholes in Mental Health legislation that still forces young people in the LGBTI+ community to be subjected to conversion therapy as inhumane and outdated .
At present 16 and 17 year olds do not have the legislative right to refuse this draconian practice.
Speaking recently in the Dail Teachta Ward said “Current legislation around the age of consent in accessing or refusing mental health treatment are barriers to all our young people
“However, this specific barrier in which only those aged 18 and over can consent or refuse treatment poses significant risk to LGBTI community
“In relation to mental health this creates circumstances for LGBTI+ young people wherein their access to mental health services is dependent on their willingness to share their needs with their parents/guardians.
“As research has demonstrated, many LGBTI+ young people are not supported in their home environments because of their sexual orientation or gender identity
“This can become a barrier in accessing mental health supports
“What has me really concerned is that young people in the LGBTI community are still being subjected to conversion therapy as they do not have the legislative right to refuse this draconian practice.
“Johnny Mythen TD and I have introduced legislation to the Bills office that will enable 16- and 17-year olds to both consent to and access mental treatment on parity with physical health
“This so-called ‘conversion therapy’ should have no place in our society.
“It is harmful, destructive and has been condemned and discredited worldwide by institutions such as the UN Committee Against Torture, the European Parliament and by the Irish Council for Psychotherapy.
“My colleague Senator Fintan Warfield introduced in 2018 the Prohibition of Conversion Therapy Bill.
“I am calling on the government to act on this legislation to ensure it becomes a reality and protect LGBTI+ people from this harmful practice
“Quite simply there can be no more delays