As disgusting, hurtful and plain false messages about the LGBTQ community abound in the lead-up to a marriage equality postal survey, sobering new research has found young transgender people are at massively increased risk of suicide or depression compared to the general population.
A study of 859 people by Telethon Kids Institute, hailed as "the largest ever survey conducted into the mental health of trans young people in Australia", found almost half had attempted suicide in their life.
Nearly 75 percent had been diagnosed with depression, almost ten times the national average of 7.7 percent. More than 72 percent of those surveyed had been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, while 79.9 percent had self-harmed.
Participants in the study -- carried out in collaboration with the University of Western Australia, Curtin University, the Western Australian Department of Health and the WA AIDS Council's Freedom Centre -- were asked to cite which factors they believed had contributed to their mental health issues.
The main driver, according to those surveyed, was body dysphoria, with 93 percent citing that issue. Other significant factors included peer rejection (89 percent), bullying (74 percent), discrimination (69 percent) and a lack of family support (65.8 percent).
"While we know that people who are trans do have a higher frequency of mental health difficulties than the general population in Australia, it is important to emphasise that this is not because an individual identifies as trans," said senior researcher Dr Ashleigh Lin.
"Rather, these difficulties are largely caused by external factors -- in other words, how the world perceives and treats trans people. This was borne out by the experiences of the young people we heard from, many of whom reported they had been subjected to transphobia and bullying." Read more via HuffPost