Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Transgender Individuals Say They Need Better Access to Mental Health Care

Transgender individuals need improved "access to mental health and social services that affirm transgender identity and promote reslience," Walter Bockting, Ph.D., of the New York State Psychiatric Institute, and colleagues assert in the May American Journal of Public Health. Bockting was recently named codirector of Columbia University Medical Center's LGBT Health Initiative. They came to this conclusion after surveying online more than 1,000 male-to-female and female-to-male transgender individuals about their mental health.

Survey respondents reported a high prevalence of depression (44 percent), anxiety (33 percent), and somatization (28 percent). The social stigma that the respondents experienced was associated with psychological distress. However,  they indicated that support from other transgender people decreased such distress.

More information about the challenges facing transgender individuals and what can be done to help them can be found in Psychiatric News here and here. Information for psychiatrists and other clinicians who treat LGBT individuals can also be found in American Psychiatric Publishing's The LGBT Casebook.

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