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by Abigail Van Buren

Psychiatrists Reach Out to Gather Information on LGBT Experience

DEAR READERS: A group of distinguished psychiatrists, the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry (GAP), needs help from some of you. They need feedback from gay, bisexual or transgender people, many of whom have experienced conflicts with their faith because of who they are attracted to or their gender identity. Many, while attempting "conversion" treatment, experienced great emotional distress, but never considered consulting a mental health professional because they had been discouraged from doing so by their faith community. Knowing the struggles you have experienced could benefit individuals who need help and haven't gotten it. Your input is important. It will give GAP psychiatrists a broader representation of people than they could get from any other source.

Thank you in advance for taking part in this important study. The Internet address to send your comments is mary.barber@omh.ny.gov. For those who don't have email access, GAP's mailing address is: P.O. Box 570218, Dallas, TX 75357-0218. In the past, readers have been generous in "telling it like it is," and I hope you will continue because your experiences are important. Your participation may help to effect positive changes in the treatment of patients. -- LOVE, ABBY

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