From Blues to Rainbows: The Mental Health Needs of Young People With Diverse Gender

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From Blues to Rainbows was a national research project that aimed to redress the absence of positive, resilience-focused research for gender diverse and transgender young people. Download the From Blues to Rainbows report from beyondblue.

“From Blues to Rainbows found that half of the gender diverse and transgender young people surveyed were diagnosed with depression and two thirds had experienced verbal abuse.

Almost all of the 189 young Australians surveyed had experienced abuse because of their gender diversity, ranging from verbal threats to physical violence. One fifth had experienced physical abuse, and 90 per cent had thought about suicide in response to that experience of physical abuse. The street (40 per cent) and school (38 per cent) were the most common places for threats and harm to occur.

The report also found:

  • 66% of participants had seen a health professional for their mental health in the past year
  • 38% had suicidal thoughts and a quarter had spoken to a medical professional about it
  • One in three did not feel supported by their family and suffered much higher rates of stress, suicide and depression
  • 45% were diagnosed with anxiety compared with an average 25% of the population
  • 66% had experienced verbal abuse due to their gender identity
  • 62% had participated in some form of activism (e.g. participating in a march) which was a protective factor

However, the report also highlighted that parental, peer and school support can make a huge and positive impact to that young person’s wellbeing, as support from parents, peers and teachers was a major protective factor in their wellbeing.

The findings will be presented to policy makers and schools to suggest better supports for gender diverse and transgender young people and to educate teachers and parents, whose influence is crucial to the young person’s mental health and wellbeing”

Citation

Smith, E., Jones, T., Ward, R., Dixon, J., Mitchell, A., & Hillier, L. (2014). From Blues to Rainbows: Mental health and wellbeing of gender diverse and transgender young people in Australia. Melbourne: The Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society