Action required on mental health for gender diverse young people
The Commissioner for Children and Young People Colin Pettit said the high rates of mental health issues experienced by WA transgender and gender diverse children and young people reported today are very concerning and warrant a comprehensive response.
The Trans Pathways report released by the Telethon Kids Institute identifies that transgender children and young people – that is, those who identify as a gender different to the gender they were assigned at birth – are at significantly higher risk of experiencing poor mental health outcomes than their peers.
“The reported rates of depression, anxiety, self-harm and attempted suicide among transgender children and young people should be of great concern to us all,” Mr Pettit said.
“The report identifies these children and young people can experience rejection from peers, issues within the education system, bullying and isolation, and a lack of support from their families and professional services.
“This is a shocking situation for any child or young person to experience simply as a result of who they are.
“We require a whole of Government and community response to promote the respectful inclusion of transgender children and young people, and to ensure that their families, peers, and the wider community are educated and equipped to support them.
“Service providers must be specifically trained, supported and resourced to work with transgender children and young people, so they have easy access to high-quality support.”
Mr Pettit said he plans to use his role to promote the rights of transgender and gender diverse children and young people, as well as other children and young people who have diverse gender or sexuality, or who are intersex.
“I have started work to promote the rights of all children and young people of diverse gender or sexuality, or who are intersex, and ensure their voices, views and experiences are heard and responded to, which will continue throughout 2018.
“I will also be working with researchers, government and the community to advocate for a strong response to the findings and recommendations of the Trans Pathways report.”
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