Hospital apologises after listing LGBTQ+ as a 'mental disorder'

Moya Lothian-McLean@moya_lm
Thursday 20 August 2020 14:45
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(Twitter/ellenrgibson)

An Essex hospital has apologised after apparently displaying a sign that seemed to list being LGBTQ+ as a ‘mental disorder’.

The Princess Alexandria Hospital in Harlow said they were “sorry for any offence caused” after climate activist Ellen Gibson spotted the poster.

Under a heading reading “Mental Health Disorders” the sign asked readers if they were “experiencing any of these?” before listing conditions like bipolar disorder and depression.

But tucked in between recognised mental health disorders was ‘LGBTG’ – apparently meaning ‘LGBT’.

Gibson was shocked, as were many others when she posted the image online.

“This is particularly bad language to use given that being LGBTQ *was* designated as a mental health disorder until shockingly recently (1990 for LGB and *2019* for trans people) and that has caused irreparable damage to so many lives over the years,” she wrote in a Twitter thread underneath the picture.

“If you wanna highlight support available to communities at greater risk of mental health problems then idk maybe just say that? Don't just smack a list of stuff on the wall of a hospital reception area and say they're 'disorders'”.

The outrage quickly attracted the attention of the hospital itself, who first issued an apology on social media, writing:

Hello, please accept our apologies for any offence caused. Please let us know where the poster is displayed and we will get it removed.

Speaking to Pink News, Trevor Smith, deputy chief executive of the Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust, expanded on the incident, saying:

We apologise for the offence caused by a poster displayed in our hospital. The poster was removed immediately and action is being taken to understand how this was displayed.

We regret the concern this situation has caused and we assure all our patients that the view implied by the poster is not the view of the trust.

This isn't the first time a controversy like this has happened recently. In August, NHS England was called out for comparing being LGBTQ+ to having a disability.

Advice on mental health and disability support services? Good. Listing being LGBTQ+ as a disorder or disability in itself? Bad.

We hope that helps!

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