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Study: Nearly four-fifths of ‘gender minority’ students have mental health issues

Depression, self-injury also common

A significant majority of transgender and gender-variant students experience mental health issues, a new report shows. That statistic is greatly higher than for the general population.

The study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, “examined responses of more than 65,200 students” from several dozen different American institutions, Inside Higher Ed reports. Around 1,200 of those students “said they had an alternate gender identity, meaning they do not identify with the gender that matches their birth sex.”

The number of those students who reported mental health issues was staggering: “Almost 80 percent of these gender-minority students reported having at least one mental health issue compared to 45 percent of their cisgender peers — students whose gender aligns with their assigned birth sex.”

The study’s lead author, health law professor Sarah Ketchen Lipson, said the findings were not unanticipated:

“The direction of the findings is not surprising,” said Lipson, “but the fact that there are these disparities, and magnitude of that disparity, as a researcher, it makes you take a step back and run the numbers over and over.”

More than half of gender-minority students — 58 percent — screened positive for depression, according to the study. And 53 percent of them reported having intentionally injured themselves in a way that was not suicidal.

Less than 30 percent of cisgender students screened positive for depression, and 20 percent reported a nonsuicidal self-injury.

Three percent of gender-minority students had attempted suicide compared to less than 1 percent of cisgender students, the study found. More than one-third of gender-minority students said they had seriously considered suicide.

One campus official claimed that every school should have “trans-experienced therapists, if not at least one trans-identified therapist, and should have at least one support group specifically for trans students.”

Read the report here.

MORE: Anxious, depressed college students swarm counseling centers

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