Mental Health in the Trans Community
Prejudice, violence, and social stigma towards transgender and other gender nonconforming people can be seen around the world. This can have an immensely negative impact on the mental health. Transgender youth are at an increased risk for depression, suicide, substance abuse, violence, and report lower levels of familial support than their cisgender peers. They also can face challenges in finding adequate healthcare. This includes being denied access to physical health services, inadequate resources for mental health needs, and lack of transgender inclusive health care providers. Even finding a bathroom can be difficult for transgender people, because many times they are not allowed to or it can be dangerous to use the bathroom that affirms their gender identity.
As peers and classmates, we can contribute towards helping the well-being of our transgender friends when we help to increase awareness of the struggles and issues they face just for being who they are. It is very important that we help to create safe spaces for our LGBTQ+ peers by encouraging our schools and workplaces to post a rainbow flag, pink triangle or HRC logo. It is also important to push for increased transgender representation, make brochures and media available about transgender health concerns, and include options for transgender, non binary, etc. on forms. We must advocate for our schools to allow transgender people to use bathrooms that affirm their gender identity and to provide access to unisex bathrooms. We all have an important role to play in achieving equal treatment of transgender people in our schools, workplaces, communities and local politics. Only by spreading awareness, working together, and standing up for what’s right can we help to create positive lasting change.
Hotlines for transgender and LGBTQ people:
Trans Lifeline: 877-565-8860
The Trevor Project Hotline: 866-488-7386
The LGBT National Hotline: 888-843-4564
The GLBT National Youth Talkline: 800-246-7743