Author: Jade See
SOGIESC minorities (more commonly known as LGBTQ+ people) in Malaysia are at high risk of suffering from mental health disorders due to minority stress, stigma and violence.
Malaysia’s mental healthcare services are not equipped in addressing the needs of this population.
Mental health frameworks, approaches, understanding and attitudes towards SOGIESC minorities often stem from the pathologisation of this population. Malaysia’s understanding of sexuality and gender also falls behind international standards and best practices.
This report highlights the alarming endorsement of conversion therapy by state and non-state actors, despite scientific consensus and demonstrated harm caused by such pseudo-science methods.
It also highlights the challenges faced by SOGIESC minorities when trying to access mental health services, including lack of relevant knowledge and discriminatory attitudes among healthcare providers.
The paper concludes with six main areas for recommendations on moving forward with LGBT-friendly mental health services, including the depathologisation of SOGIESC minorities, a ban on conversion therapies and incorporating SOGIESC and human rights into the learning curriculum of health professionals.
- Depathologise the treatment of SOGIESC minorities and adopt an inclusive and affirmative approach to mental health
- Review and amend relevant mental health guidelines and policies to ensure they adheres to international human rights and evidence-based frameworks
- Ban and criminalise all forms of conversion therapy
- Ensure all mental health and allied health training curriculums incorporates knowledge on SOGIESC and human rights
- Protect and facilitate full acceptance of SOGIESC minorities and people living with mental illnesses
- Increase regulation of private mental health services
Available for download here.