Mental health is a topic that is prevalent within the transgender community. There are multiple factors that impact mental health for trans people. Whether it be due to bullying, deadnaming, people using incorrect pronouns or most commonly, gender dysphoria overall, a mass proportion of the trans community suffers with mental health in a major way.
Stonewall claims that 27% of trans young people have attempted to commit suicide, with 89% having considered it at some point in their life. 72% have also self harmed at least once. Although these figures don’t state the reason behind these cases, there is always something you can do to help your trans allies and support someone in the trans community who may be struggling mentally.
What can you do?
Lend your ear. Sometimes, not only for transgender people but for anyone suffering with depression or other mental health issues, having someone there to speak to can help massively. Just knowing that whoever is struggling is able to open up to someone and not have any judgement is an amazing feeling and can make a huge difference. Make sure you offer your support and allow that person to explain how they feel and try and give them the advice you think is best.
Provide the person with information on mental health. Transpire has mental health helpline recommendations, along with information on mental health and a mental health journal. This allows you to write down how you are feeling if you don’t wish to talk to anyone yet. Some people who haven’t come out as trans may not feel safe enough to talk to someone, so being able to write down your feelings can help.
If you are a parent or teacher, use these resources. If not, do your own research as to help you can receive for your child or student. Ensure that you have done your research so that if your child does come to you feeling a certain way about their mental health or transition in general, you can give them sound advice and ensure that they get help if needed.
If you yourself are a trans youth or adult, make sure you open up and ask for help.
Don’t be ashamed to receive help if you need it. Speaking to someone and getting help in any form sooner rather than later can make all the difference. Often, people with mental health issues are afraid to talk to people or receive help as there is still sadly a stigma attached to mental health. Make sure you trust who is in your life and who is around you and ask them to listen and try to understand you. It is vital that you speak to someone and do not suffer in silence.
Do your research on transitioning.
It can all be very confusing at the start of your transition. At the beginning, you might not know the first steps to take, who to tell, and how to go about things. First of all, tell your loved ones and make sure you are very transparent with them. It can be hard for parents, friends and family members to understand if they are new to this subject. Make sure you explain exactly how you feel. Sit down and be an open book. Reveal your preferred pronouns so that they know how to address you and so they don’t get it wrong. Then, when you are ready, speak to your GP! They will give you advice and guidance on the next steps based on your case and what you have told them!
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