In a resolution passed yesterday by the American Medical Association’s House of Delegates, the premier governing body for medical practitioners in the United States resolved to, “urge social networking platforms to adopt Terms of Service that define and prohibit electronic aggression, which may include any type of harassment or bullying, including but not limited to that occurring through e-mail, chat room, instant messaging, website (including blogs) or text messaging.” Today’s resolution follows strides taken by the Department of Health and Human Services to extend resources related to care, research, training and prevention in order to reduce health disparities among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) people, including youth. A statement on these important policy changes from Abbe Land, Executive Director and CEO of The Trevor Project follows.
“At The Trevor Project, we have long known that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth face great health disparities compared to straight youth. Whether it involves limited access to care or informed treatment options, or a lack of trained providers who can competently address the needs of this diverse group, LGBTQ youth are less likely to get the care they need. At the same time, environments which breed prejudice, fear and hate directed at youth specifically for their sexual orientation or gender identity and high rates of family rejection increase risks to their psychological well-being, and make them targets for physical harm.
While it has taken years for information to translate to action, the health community, including the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Department of Health and Human Services have been making great strides to address the needs of LGBTQ youth. As of this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that for the first time ever, broad based data about youth gender expression will be collected through the national Youth Risk Behavior Survey. As Secretary Sebelius reminded us yesterday, LGBTQ people are now included among priority populations by the National Institutes for Minority Health and Health Disparities, ensuring funding and resources would be applied to programs and training related to LGBTQ health and mental health.
Today, we also learned that the American Medical Association announced a resolution to encourage social media platforms to adopt anti-bullying and anti-harassment Terms of Service, inclusive of LGBTQ people. This resolution follows an earlier announcement from the AMA that suicide prevention and reducing suicide risk among LGBTQ youth would be a priority for the leading body of medical practitioners in the country.
While there is still a long way to go in order to reduce health risks and disparities among LGBTQ youth, we are very pleased to know that meaningful steps are being taken to do just that.”
“What an astonishing thing a book is. It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.”—Carl Sagan (via consultingescapist)