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ILGA Asia 2013 Conference: LGBT Mental Health Workshop

in THAILAND, 29/03/2013

It was an insightful and interactive sector that was able to collect news, experiences, cases and perspectives from many countries. The workshop started with the presentation on mental health situation of LGBT community in China. The presentation on China's LGBT mental health ended with sharing experience of how to resolve the existing problems in the trainings for psychologists and psychiatrists.The second half of the workshop surrounded the more generic topic "The Mental Health Sector: Adversary or Ally of LGBTIQ people in Asia?"

The group discussions have gathered many local stories, insights, obstacles, challenges from the Philippines, Lebanon, Palestine, Mongolia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Singapore. Most agreed that for mental health care, LGBTIQ people should come seeking advice and help from people who understand them. However it then came back to the issue in China: there are not enough trained psychologists and psychiatrists.

The sharing from the situation in Thailand revealed that most people think homosexuality is not an illness, however most still have limited understanding and many misunderstandings. People accept LGBTIQ but don't understand and don't seem to make any effort to understand.

The workshop ended with the inspiring question "how do you convince LGBTIQ people to go to psychologists or psychiatrists for mental health problems?". (Lana Tran) 

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