Mental health advocates urge end to conversion therapy

Apr 26, 2017

New York's mental health leaders are uniting to condemn psychological treatments designed to alter the sexual orientation of a minor.

Credit WBFO's Eileen Buckley file photo

The New York State Psychiatric Association, the New York State Psychological Association and the National Association of Social Workers' New York chapters are urging lawmakers to outlaw conversion therapy, in which a counselor or psychologist attempts to change a minor's sexuality.

Under pending legislation, any licensed mental health practitioner who performs conversion therapy could be cited for unprofessional conduct. Similar bills have passed the Assembly for several years, but have been blocked by the Republican-led Senate.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo last year barred insurance coverage for the therapy for minors and prohibited state mental health facilities from offering it. Six states and Washington, DC have similar laws.