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House Bill 2 NCPA Position Statement

The NC Psychiatric Association signed on with the NC Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry for the following position statement on House Bill 2:

 

As the medical professional associations for doctors who treat patients with mental illness, the North Carolina Psychiatric Association (NCPA) and the North Carolina Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (NCCCAP) strive to serve as reliable, objective, medical resources for members of the North Carolina General Assembly (NCGA) on topics impacting mental health. It is our goal to work with legislators to help improve policy.

We were disappointed that House Bill 2, legislation with negative consequences to our patients, was passed so quickly. NCPA and NCCCAP reiterate our longstanding offer to provide the NCGA with expert medical advice and objective evidence for issues relating to behavioral and mental health.

Why do psychiatrists care about this issue?
Studies confirm that discrimination, bias, and prejudice have negative consequences on individuals’ mental health and overall well-being. Research has linked anti-LGBT discrimination to increased risk of depression, anxiety, and substance use. Studies show that lesbian, gay and bisexual youth are up to six times more likely to attempt suicide, while 41% of transgender people report having made a suicide attempt.

LGBT individuals are at a much higher risk of being victims of violence than the general population. Increased rates of hate crimes against LGBT individuals have been associated with an increase in suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. Research has shown that violence against transgender individuals begins early in life, and this risk of violence persists throughout life. It is likely that forcing transgender individuals to use restrooms inconsistent with their gender identity puts them at increased risk of violence.

In contrast, several studies show marked improvement in overall physical and mental health when governments enact laws and policies that strengthen equality for LGBT people. Community and family acceptance have also been shown to contribute significantly to fewer occurrences of depression, anxiety, and suicidality for LGBT youth.

Our patients already face medical, social, and emotional challenges. We are concerned that HB2 creates unnecessary hardship for vulnerable patients, parents, and youth. Such hardship serves to increase suffering and morbidity among North Carolina's citizens and, as such, raises great concern for us as psychiatric physicians.

NCPA and NCCCAP urge repeal of HB2 and stand ready to provide assistance to the NC General Assembly on this issue and others that impact our diverse patient population.


Art Kelley, M.D., President
North Carolina Psychiatric Association


Brad Reddick, M.D., President
North Carolina Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

The North Carolina Psychiatric Association is a professional medical organization that represents nearly 900 psychiatrists statewide; it is the district branch of the American Psychiatric Association.

The North Carolina Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry is a professional medical organization representing 250 pediatric psychiatrists statewide; it is a branch of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.