european psychiatric association

Celebrating Pride Month! LGBTI+ Rights are Human Rights

Despite some progress in affirming attitudes towards LGBTI+ people, scientific research (Jarasiunaite-Fedosejeva & Kravcenko 2022, Bayrakdar & King 2023) and the Pride Report 2024 clearly show that there are still negative attitudes, stigma, and discrimination in various European countries against LGBTI+ people. In addition to the broad variability among European countries in stigma and discrimination experienced by LGBTI+ people, research evidence supports persisting detrimental effects on mental health and well-being (Pachankis & Bränström 2018, Pachankis et al 2021, Falk & Bränström 2023).

Trans people are particularly affected; perceived discrimination for this group varies between 60% and 80%. This is especially surprising given that transgender rights are human rights. The World Medical Association (WMA 2015) already stated in 2015 that “everyone has the right to determine one’s own gender and recognizes the diversity of possibilities in this respect.”

As negative attitudes, stigma, and discrimination via the mechanism of minority stress have a negative impact on the mental health of LGBTI+ people, it is crucial for the mental healthcare professionals community and the public to recognize their role in addressing these issues. The newly founded EPA Section on “Sexual orientations and gender identities” aims to raise awareness among the mental healthcare professionals community and the public on mental health issues experienced by sexual minorities, their association with the stigma and discrimination, promoting research and advocating for the implementation of best practice standards based on scientific evidence and a human rights perspective in Europe. Active participation and support by EPA members are essential to accomplish this mission.

Götz Mundle, Lieselotte Mahler and Koray Başar
EPA Section “Sexual orientations and gender identities”

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