In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) removed the diagnosis of “homosexuality” from the second edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). On 17 May 1990, the General Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO) passed a resolution to remove homosexuality from their list of mental disorders; in 1992, this was done with the publication of the 10th edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). Since then, the Chinese Psychiatric Association has also done the same in 2001.
Nevertheless, international research suggests that many LGBTQ persons are still at risk of issues related to their mental and psychological health and emotional well-being. An important factor is the experience of minority stress by LGBTQ persons, in the form of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. Phobia towards the LGBTQ community is often a result of ignorance, lack of awareness, and certain attitudes and beliefs, which often translate into prejudice, discrimination and stigma.
Homophobia, biphobia and transphobia can manifest in non-LGBTQ persons, as well as those who identify as LGBTQ. Someone who is struggling with their sexual orientation or gender identity can sometimes adopt a homophobic, biphobic or transphobic attitude towards themselves and other LGBTQ persons. This is known as internalised homophobia, biphobia or transphobia.
LOCAL COMMUNITY RESOURCES
In addition to Oogachaga, we have found the following local mental health resources to be LGBT-friendly in their approach:
Community Health Assessment Team (CHAT) Promoting youth mental health in Singapore
Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) 24hr suicide prevention service supporting those in emotional distress, feeling suicidal or affected by suicide
Counselling and Care Centre (CCC) Professional, non-governmental, non-profit centre providing counselling and psychological services