July 25, 2016 16:30 - 18:00

Gaps in Responses to LGBT Issues in Thailand: Policies of Mental Health Related Professional Associations and State-Affiliated Bodies

[Speaker] Ratanashevorn, Rattanakorn:1
[Co-author] Ojanen, Timo T.:2, Boonkerd, Sumonthip:3
1:none (Thailand), 2:Advisor, Foundation for SOGI Rights and Justice (Thailand), 3:Instructor,Faculty of Nursing Science, Vongchavalitkul University (Thailand)

Policies of psychological and psychiatric associations can influence how these professions and society view lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) people. Thailand is perceived as an LGBT-friendly country, but LGBT people are not fully accepted by some parents, peers, or in formal contexts. To review relevant policies, we asked mental health related professional associations and state-affiliated bodies about their LGBT-related policies and reviewed their websites for additional information. We found no LGBT-related policies by professional associations, but certain state-affiliated bodies have issued regulations, guidelines and open letters on issues like depathologization of homosexuality or medical assistance on gender transitioning. Yet, these instances stated to us they had no LGBT-related policies. The Thai mental health field seems uninterested in taking stands on LGBT issues, and could do more to improve LGBT mental health and public perceptions of LGBT people by taking LGBT-affirmative stands and by ensuring practitioners are sensitized to LGBT issues.
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