A new study released today has found trans young people in Australia are experiencing extraordinarily high levels of mental health difficulties, including depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicide attempts | The Conversation
Trans and gender diverse young people identify with a gender that does not match their sex assigned at birth. We use trans to be inclusive of people who identify as transgender, non-binary, genderqueer, genderfluid, male, female, and other terms.
There is existing evidence that trans young people in Australia experience high levels of distress compared to the general population. This new study, called Trans Pathways, delved deeper into what might contribute to mental health issues, to understand how mental health and medical services respond to trans young people seeking support.
Perhaps the most confronting finding was that almost half of trans young people has attempted to end their life by suicide. This statistic alone demonstrates the urgent need for all Australians to act and do more to support trans young people. Support is needed from peers, parents, schools, health professionals and government.
Research suggests that lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) adolescents have a higher risk of suicidal behaviours than their heterosexual peers, but little is known about specific risk factors | The British Journal of Psychiatry
Aims: To assess sexual orientation as a risk factor for suicidal behaviours, and to identify other risk factors among LGB adolescents and young adults.
Method: A systematic search was made of six databases up to June 2015, including a grey literature search. Population-based longitudinal studies considering non-clinical populations aged 12–26 years and assessing being LGB as a risk factor for suicidal behaviour compared with being heterosexual, or evaluating risk factors for suicidal behaviour within LGB populations, were included. Random effect models were used in meta-analysis.
Results: Sexual orientation was significantly associated with suicide attempts in adolescents and youths (OR = 2.26, 95% CI 1.60–3.20). Gay or bisexual men were more likely to report suicide attempts compared with heterosexual men (OR = 2.21, 95% CI 1.21–4.04). Based on two studies, a non-significant positive association was found between depression and suicide attempts in LGB groups.
Conclusions: Sexual orientation is associated with a higher risk of suicide attempt in young people. Further research is needed to assess completed suicide, and specific risk factors affecting the LGB population.
Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) young people have been found to be at greater risk of suicidal behaviour | The British Journal of Psychiatry
National prevention strategies have identified the need to reduce suicide risk in this population. However, research on specific risk factors for LGB young people that might inform suicide prevention programmes are at an early stage of development.
Suicide in young people is rarely caused by one thing; it usually follows a combination of previous vulnerability and recent events | University of Manchester
The stresses we have identified before suicide are common in young people; most come through them without serious harm.
Important themes for suicide prevention are support for or management of family factors (e.g. mental illness, physical illness, or substance misuse), childhood abuse, bullying, physical health, social isolation, mental ill-health and alcohol or drug misuse.
Specific actions are needed on groups we have highlighted:
support for young people who are bereaved, especially by suicide
greater priority for mental health in colleges and universities
housing and mental health care for looked after children
This report examines findings from a range of investigations, such as coroner inquests, into the deaths by suicide of people aged under 25 between January 2014 and December 2015 in England and Wales, extracting information about the stresses they were facing when they died.
The report emphasises the emotional impact of bereavement on young people and recommends that bereavement support should be widely available.
The researchers call on universities to do more to promote mental health on campus and support students who may be at risk.
The study identifies the treatment of self-harm as the most important service response in preventing suicide in young people.
Funding cuts to mental health services have made thresholds for treatment so high that young people are risking their lives in desperate bids to get help, according to the Times Educational Supplement. The article goes on to say that stretched children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) are driving growing numbers of pupils to make what look like suicide attempts just so they can have their mental illness treated.
A survey conducted by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner showed that, of all pupils referred to CAMHS in 2015 (the latest figures available), only 14 per cent were able to access the service immediately.
Meanwhile, 28 per cent of those referred were not allocated a service at all. In some areas, this figure was as high as 75 per cent.