Trans Students Often Struggle with Mental Health

September 06, 2019

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

Inside Higher Ed

A new study found that transgender and gender-nonconforming students are four times more likely to report mental health issues than their peers. Data came from the Healthy Minds Study, an annual online mental health survey of U.S. college students. About 2 percent of participants indicated that their gender identity did not match their birth sex and were categorized as “gender-minority.” Of those, nearly 80 percent reported at least one mental health issue, compared to 45 percent of cisgender students—those whose gender identity matched their birth sex. Three percent of gender-minority students said they had attempted suicide, compared to less than 1 percent of their cisgender peers. Colleges should establish policies that help support the mental health of gender-minority students, said Genny Beemyn, director of the Stonewall Center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. “This means making sure that students are able to use the name they go by and are treated as their gender throughout the institution,” said Beemyn. “Students need to be able to indicate their . . . pronouns in administrative systems and have these pronouns respected.”

Spark Extra! Learn about preventing suicide among LGBT people.