Giving Compass' Take:
- According to a study, transgender and genderqueer students are much more likely to experience mental health issues than their cisgender peers.
- What are educators and schools doing to help these students? How can organizational programs help with school inclusion?
- Read about how LGBTQ youth are at greater risk of homelessness and incarceration.
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Students who are gender nonconforming, genderqueer or transgender are more than four times as likely as their cisgender peers to experience one or more mental health issues, according to a new study, the most comprehensive such analysis yet.
The study examined some 1,200 gender-minority students — who the researchers define as those who have a "gender identity or expression that differs from their assigned sex at birth or does not fit within the male-female binary" — across 71 campuses from the fall of 2015 through the spring of 2017 based on symptoms of depression, eating disorders, self-injury and suicidality relative to their cisgender peers.
Using data from the Healthy Minds Study, the researchers offer more insight into how mental illness manifests among a population that bears "a disproportionate burden of depression, anxiety and suicidality" and that may not access care.
Depression and anxiety are the student mental health concerns presidents hear about most, according to the ACE report. And they are the top issues among students as reported by the Center for Collegiate Mental Health (CCMH) at Penn State University. Stress and family and academic issues also rank high.
The new data shows gender-minority students experience these conditions at higher rates than cisgender students. For instance, 58% of gender-minority students screened positive for depression compared to 28% of cisgender students. Meanwhile, more than a third of gender-minority students said they had seriously thought about suicide during the prior year compared to one in 10 cisgender students who had reported the same.
The findings "offer compelling evidence of mental health inequities," the researchers write, noting that trans-masculine students and genderqueer students are particularly vulnerable.
Read the full article about trans and genderqueer students' mental health by Hallie Busta at Education Dive.