Study: 78 Per Cent of Trans and ‘Non-Binary’ Students Meet Criteria for Mental Health Disorders

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78 per cent of students who identify as trans, non-binary, or “genderqueer” meet the criteria for at least one mental disorder, according to Boston University research.

In an interview with the Reuters news agency, Sarah Ketchen Lipson of Boston University’s School of Public Health revealed that analysis of 2015-2017 Healthy Minds Study data showed “gender minority” students are four times as likely to suffer mental health disorders as their so-called “cisgender” counterparts — “cisgender” being the fashionable term for people whose gender identity matches their biological sex.

“The traditional college years coincide with the onset of about 75 per cent of mental illnesses, and students are experiencing newfound autonomy living on their own with new social environments, new health behaviours and different forms of stress,” explained the academic.

“This is a key time for students to address their mental health, and we often see students experience symptoms for the first time. That’s particularly relevant for the students who identify as non-binary, transgender or genderqueer,” she suggested.

“What’s surprising is the magnitude of disparities [in mental health outcomes], and the consistency across all the indicators makes you step back and take pause,” Lipson told the news agency.

“Working with this dataset for 10 years now, I’m used to the numbers… the prevalence of mental health problems is increasing,” she said.

Almost 60 per cent of “gender minority” students were flagged for depression by the research, with over a third having said they had seriously considered suicide as an option.

Transgender students, in particular, had a high rate of attempted suicides — higher than all the other “gender minority” groups.

Remarkably, however, the research also suggested that mental health disorders are also far from uncommon among the “cisgender” student population, with some 45 per cent reportedly meeting the criteria for a disorder.

Depression among the “cisgender” students was estimated at approximately 30 per cent — roughly half the rate for transgender students, but far from negligible.

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