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The latest research into the mental health of trans and non-binary youth proves what we already know: That timely gender-affirming interventions massively improve outcomes.

In a study presented to the American Academy of Pediatrics, research showed a 60% decrease in moderate and severe depression and 73% decrease in suicidality among transgender and non-binary youth who received puberty blockers or gender-affirming hormones over a 12-month period. “Our study adds to a robust evidence-base,” said Diana Tordoff of the University of Washington, “that access to puberty blockers and hormones is critical for ensuring the well-being of transgender and non-binary young people.”

The study builds on existing research, which has already demonstrated:

We also know that, alongside proper medication, social support is one of the strongest predictors of positive mental health outcomes for LGBTQ+ youth. Suicidal ideation is substantially higher among trans and non-binary young people in particular, but is significantly reduced with parental acceptance and peer support. Timely and available access to care is part of this acceptance. If individual young people are supported by the healthcare system, their families and friends are supported too.

 

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Unfortunately this is not always the case. In the UK, for instance, waiting times for GIDS – Gender Identity Development Service, the service that treats trans young people – can spiral into years. “Unfortunately, multidisciplinary clinics are not accessible to all transgender and non-binary youth,” said study co-author Kym Ahrens, associate professor of pediatrics at Seattle Children’s Hospital. “We need to understand how to better serve youth who are not able to make it into a clinical environment.”

GenderGP is here for all young people and families who cannot access gender-affirming care, in the UK or abroad. Many of our patients support themselves with our services while they wait to be seen, then transfer successfully to NHS service. Whatever stage you’re at in your transition and whatever kind of support you need, our expert team can help you.

 

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