A new study conducted by La Trobe University has discovered members of the transgender community face higher than average levels of anxiety, depression and suicide ideation.
The report, From Blues to Rainbows, conducted by Dr Elizabeth Smith at La Trobe University, in association with beyondblue, suggested familial support was integral in maintaining the mental health and well being of young people transitioning – with majority of young trans people facing discrimination and bullying.
Smith said a supportive school environment where teachers used the correct pronouns and appropriate language, assisted in ensuring trans students were less likely to be bullied, but much still needed to be done.
“Where participants had support from their parents, they were half as likely to be diagnosed with depression and more likely to seek professional help if needed,” Dr Smith said. “Mental health was also significantly better if peer, teacher and school relationships were posit.”
beyondblue CEO Georgie Harman said it was deeply troubling that gender diverse and transgender young people experienced such high rates of abuse at an age and stage when many young people were exploring and coming to understand their identity and sexuality.
“Teachers, parents and kids themselves should learn from this research and support gender diverse and transgender young people, before they reach a point where they experience depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts. beyondblue will be drawing upon this research to shape and expand our future work with transgender and gender diverse communities,” she said.
The findings came from a study of 190 young trans people, The results suggested 66 per cent had seem a health professional for their mental health in the past twelve months. 38 per cent had suicidal thoughts and had seen a professional regarding this. 33 per cent suffered from stress and depression and 45 per cent had been diagnosed with anxiety (well above the national average of 25 per cent).
Two thirds of trans people also reported some form of abuse or discrimination because of their gender identity.