The new Practice Parameter on issues related to and affecting gay, lesbian, bisexual, and gender variant youth was proudly announced by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP).
Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and gender variant children and adolescents face unique developmental challenges and stressors that can influence their mental health and wellbeing. Social issues such as stigma, bullying, and discrimination, and personal factors like internalized prejudice and feelings of being different are just a few of the concerns that can affect gender and sexual minority youth. To help combat these problems and inform mental health professionals and those caring for children and adolescents about current best clinical practices, the new Practice Parameter provides practice principles and also discusses cultural competence, research needs, and ethics.
Author Dr. Stewart L. Adelson said of the Parameter, "Through this effort, AACAP has provided mental health clinicians with the latest tools to help children and adolescents who may be growing up gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender to avoid or overcome problems like depression, anxiety, suicidality, substance-abuse, or high-risk behavior, for which they are sometimes at risk as a result of problems like family rejection or bullying."