Largest national study exploring the health and wellbeing of young LGBTIQ people

Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society (ARCSHS) at La Trobe University, 2019

This is Me is the largest national study exploring the health and wellbeing of LGBTIQ young people in Australia. Conducted by the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society (ARCSHS) at La Trobe University, this short (8-10 minute) survey asks young people a range of questions about health and wellbeing as well as who young people go to for help and support if they need it.

This is Me is the fourth study of its kind. ARCSHS has previously conducted versions of this study in 1998, 2004 and 2010, as well as a study specifically about the health and wellbeing of transgender and gender diverse young people in 2014. These studies documented high levels of harm, and examined the impact that such stigma and discrimination had on the health and wellbeing of LGBTIQ+ young people, as well as seeking to better understand who LGBTIQ+ young people turned to when in need.

The data collected from This is Me will provide important insight into the present-day lives and experiences of LGBTIQ young people. The responses young people give will help us to understand what can support LGBTIQ young people to thrive.

Evidence from the study will enable organisations, services and government to make informed decisions about how to best support the health and wellbeing of LGBTIQ young people. Findings from the study will inform the development of LGBTIQ-inclusive mainstream, and LGBTIQ-specific, youth policies, programs and services.

 

  • Please do not promote the survey via Twitter – this platform is deliberately not part of the promotion strategy.

 

  • You can let young people know the supports available to them if filling out the survey triggers any strong feelings and they want to chat about it. If you offer counselling or support, let them know. Remind young people of support options such as Qlife, headspace or Reachout. Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or atkidshelpline.com.au or Lifeline on 13 11 14 or at lifeline.org.au 24 hours/day 7 days per week.

 

  • Read the FAQ here FAQs

 

 

Free legal resources for young trans & gender diverse people

Justice Connect, 2019

Justice Connect have released a suite of free legal resources for young trans & gender diverse people and their families. These are available state by state to make it easier to understand the different legalities between each state and territory.

Temporary open access to special journal issue on Trans Youth in Education

Sex Education, volume 18, 2018: Special Issue on Trans Youth in Education

Sex Education journal has published a special issue on Trans Youth in Education.  This is now out and is available on Open Access for a few weeks only. 

Using Chosen Names Reduces Odds of Depression and Suicide in Transgender Youths

The University of Texas at Austin, Tue, April 3, 2018

In one of the largest and most diverse studies of transgender youths to date, researchers led by a team at The University of Texas at Austin have found that when transgender youths are allowed to use their chosen name in places such as work, school and at home, their risk of depression and suicide drops.     

“Many kids who are transgender have chosen a name that is different than the one that they were given at birth,” said author Stephen T. Russell, professor and chair of human development and family science. “We showed that the more contexts or settings where they were able to use their preferred name, the stronger their mental health was.”

 

New standards of care for trans and gender diverse children and adolescents

The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, 2017

The first Australian Standards of Care and Treatment Guidelines for trans and gender diverse children and adolescents, led Led by the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, have been released.

Dr Michelle Telfer, Head of Adolescent Medicine and Gender Services at the RCH, says health professionals, such as GPs, school counsellors and psychologists, from around the country often seek information from the RCH but until now only international guidelines had been available.

“With 1.2% of adolescents identifying as transgender, and referrals and requests for specialist support on the rise, there is definitely a need for Australia to have its own guidelines. Trans-medicine is a relatively new area of medical practise, and most doctors didn’t get taught how to manage the care of trans children and adolescents in medical school or in their later specialist training. These guidelines, developed by leaders in this field, will help to fill this knowledge gap,” she says.

The guidelines were developed using current evidence and the input of more than 50 specialists, and they have the endorsement of the Australian and New Zealand Professional Association for Transgender Health.

The guidelines include terminology, information about the unique clinical needs, treatment information, and the role of the various medical disciplines involved in the care.

Trans and gender diverse children and teenagers, and their parents, have also been consulted along the way.

“We frequently hear that many doctors, and other clinicians, don’t feel confident in what to do or say when they come across trans or gender diverse children or adolescents for the first time. With a guide to help them through all the stages of their care, our patients’ feel that they are likely to get better care and that others will also have a more positive experience when approaching doctors or psychologists,” she adds.

 

Summary of results: Trans Pathways: the mental health experiences and care pathways of trans young people

Telethon Kids Institute, Perth, September 1, 2017

Trans Pathways is the largest study ever conducted of the mental health and care pathways of trans and gender diverse young people in Australia (859 participants). It is also the first Australian study to incorporate the views of parents and guardians of trans young people (194 participants).

What did Trans Pathways tell us?

  • Trans young people are at very high risk for poor mental health, self-harming and suicide attempts
  • Trans young people found it difficult to access health services
  • Many trans young people have experienced negative situations that affect their mental health such as peer rejection, bullying, issues with school, university or TAFE, and a lack of family support
  • Participants told us they used music and art, peers and friends, activism, social media and pets to make themselves feel better and take care of their mental wellbeing

The authors have provided a list of recommendations for governments and health providers, as well as guidance for schools, parents, peers and young trans people.

Download report:

If you or anyone you know needs help: