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Last Wednesday you signed into law a bill that gives therapists in Tennessee the legal right to deny clients services based on their sexual orientation.
Regardless of the vague language and legalese you have hid behind in your defense of the bill, we know its primary purpose is to deny the LGBT community in Tennessee access to mental health care. Imagine a world where anyone could refuse service to people based on their sexual orientation.
Think about a situation where a firefighter refused to keep a gay institution from burning to the ground, a policeman did not protect somebody or an emergency room turned away a patient. By being on the wrong side of history and misusing your power as governor, you are contributing to the suffering of a community that is already disenfranchised from many mental health services.
As the co-founder of Talkspace, an online therapy company that provides therapy to all and has a large number of LGBT clients, I know all too well the difficulties the LGBT population has getting access to mental health care.
LGBT youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide.
Many LGBT individuals report encountering a “dual” or “double stigma” when struggling to deal with mental health issues.