Young trans people are at high risk for suicide and are approximately 10 times more likely than other young Australians to experience serious depression and anxiety, a new survey by the Telethon Kids Institute in Perth has found.
The research surveyed 859 trans people aged 14–25 years, along with 194 parents and guardians.
“The finding that one in every two gender-diverse young people we heard from has attempted to end their life is a sobering statistic that demonstrates the urgent need for services that are better equipped to support gender-diverse young people,” Dr Lin said.
“These are vastly different figures to the general young population, with the 2015 Young Minds Matter survey indicating that one in 40 young people aged 12–17 had attempted suicide, and one in 12 had self-harmed.”
Following the release of the survey result, The Australian Greens are calling on the government to increase funding for support services for trans and gender-diverse young people.
“When you have one group of the population where 1 in 2 has attempted suicide, a figure 20 times higher than their peers, then you have a serious problem that needs a trans-specific approach,” said LGBTI spokesperson Senator Janet Rice.
“This report demonstrates that the government is failing young trans people.
“It is vital that we see increased funding for support and mental health services for trans and gender-diverse young people, as well as society-wide programs that aim to remove discrimination and stigma, and that we have law reform to ensure that trans young people don’t have to go through the court system to access hormone therapy.
“This should be a wake-up call to Mr Turnbull. These alarming figures come from trans people experiencing much higher rates of discrimination and bullying at school, university, in the workplace and in the home.
“This is exactly why programs like Safe Schools are so important—they save lives.
“It also demonstrates that we should not be having a plebiscite on marriage equality. We’ve already seen the hateful and hurtful campaign from the ‘no’ side—this has serious consequences for young trans people.”