A first-of-its-kind study, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, has confirmed that trans and non-binary youth in the US who have access to gender-affirming healthcare are considerably less likely to experience depression and suicidal thoughts. Conducted by researchers from The Trevor Project, the study is the first large-scale project to examine the relationship between mental wellbeing and access to hormone therapy in young gender non-conforming people.
After gathering information from over 11,000 trans and non-binary people aged between 13 – 24, the study found that those under 18 were 40% less likely to report recent depression and/or suicide attempts if they had access to gender-affirming healthcare. However, it also found that young people of colour, particularly Black trans youth, were less likely to have access to appropriate healthcare and hormone treatment.
It also suggested that parental support affected healthcare access, with only 4% of under 18s being able to access gender-affirming healthcare without the support of their parents, compared to 80% who had at least one supportive parent. The study concluded by affirming the importance of gender-affirming healthcare, saying that “there is a need to focus on increasing awareness and education around gender-affirming care for parents as well as among healthcare providers and others in positions to support youth health and well-being.”