WHO Says, Transgenders Won’t Be Categorized as Mentally Ill
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on last Monday that it will no longer classify Transgender people as mentally ill. This seems to be a significant sign of progress for the community which is generally dominated by opposite sex.
The WHO has decided that “Gender Incongruence”, a term used by the organization for someone who is identified differently from the sex they were assigned at the time of birth, will now be re-categorized from the mental disorder chapter to a sexual health condition in the newly released edition of the International Classification of Diseases.
In a conversation with AFP, the coordinator of WHO’s department of reproductive health and research, Lale said that “We think it will reduce stigma so that it may help better social acceptance for these individuals.”
While WHO has proposed the changes in the document, however, it would have to be passed in Geneva in 2019. If passed, the changes will take effect on January 1, 2022. The change will also have a positive impact on the people in this category as it will help in improving health care for them. This is mainly because of the fact that WHO’s catalog is generally considered by doctors and insurance companies to determine coverage, and as transgender will no longer be treated as a mental-health condition, it will be beneficial for these individuals.
The executive director of Transgender Europe, Julia Ehrt, released a statement on Monday after hearing the remarkable decision by WHO.
Ehrt said in the statement “This is the result of tremendous effort by trans and gender diverse activists from around the world to insist on our humanity, and I am elated that the WHO agrees that gender identity is not a mental illness.”
Well, this is not the first time that someone has taken out transgender from mental-health illness category. France and Denmark are two of the countries that have withdrawn transgender out of their classification of mental-health illness.
Although the decision from WHO seems to have a major impact across the world, however, the barriers and stigma faced by transgender people still need to be looked upon intensely.