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Suicide: young transgender people more at risk of ideas and attempts

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More than half of transgender teens said they had seriously considered suicide in the 12 months preceding the survey.

In total, 14% of adolescents reported having had suicidal thoughts in the past year, and 6.8% of them admitted to having tried to end their lives. Transgender youth were five times more likely to have thought about suicide and 7.6 times more likely to have acted out than cisgender youth (those who identify with the gender they were assigned at birth).

It is very worryingsaid the author of the study, Dr. Ian Colman, of the School of Epidemiology and Public Health of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa. Even though stigma is on the decline, even though we see social progress in this area, it seems that our adolescents continue to experience difficulties.

The data Dr. Colman and his colleagues studied came from the Canadian Child and Youth Health Survey published by Statistics Canada in 2019. Their sample consisted of 6,800 adolescents between the ages of 15 and 17, the vast majority of whom ( 99.4%) identified as cisgender and 0.6% as transgender.

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The majority (78.6%) of survey participants were heterosexual, 14.7% were attracted to more than one gender, 4.3% were unsure of their attraction, 1.6% were girls girls and 0.8% of boys attracted to boys.

One in five adolescents belong to a sexual or gender minoritypointed out Dr. Colman. So it’s not a small problem.

When we consider that more than half of young transgender people have recently considered ending their lives, it means that even if we are aware of the problem and even if we try to help them, it is not enough and we must Do morehe added.

The survey also found a higher proportion than previous studies of young people who report being attracted to more than one gender. Young people in this group were more than twice as likely as others to have considered suicide.

Adolescence can be a time of great turbulence, and even more so for young transgender people, and even those who can count on the support of those around them will not be entirely immune to the turmoil.recalled Dr. Colman. This is without counting those who do not have such support and who must weather the storm alone.

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Thus, say the researchers, the association between suicidal ideation, suicide attempts and belonging to a sexual or gender minority is partially explained by the bullying or cyberbullying to which these young people are subjected.

The conclusions of the Ontario study are in line with those of a Quebec survey, the results of which were released earlier this year, and which indicated that young people who report having a different gender identity could be up to three times more likely than their peers to show signs of concern for their mental health.

These young people, for example, were much more likely than others to perceive that their mental health was fair Where bad; experience moderate to severe symptoms of anxiety or depression; or to have recently considered that it would be better for their life to end.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death in Canada among adolescents and young adults aged 15 to 24.

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