This report presents the findings of the largest study of the mental health and wellbeing of trans people in Ireland. The results from the 164 participants echo the findings in the UK Trans Mental Health Study 2012.
A majority of participants felt that being trans had both positive and negative impacts on their life satisfaction. Mental health, wellbeing and life satisfaction scores increased for most people after going through transition. Transition refers to the personal, social and sometimes medical or surgical process by which an individual changes their gender. Unfortunately, negative experiences with general medical and gender- specific services were widespread, with fewer than half of the participants reporting being satisfied with their experience of using Gender Identity Services in Ireland.
Unemployment was high among the participants, with only half employed part-time or full-time. Almost half had experienced some problems in work due to their trans status. More than 70% of participants considered media portrayals of trans people to be negative, and 40% stated that these representations negatively affected their emotional wellbeing or mental health.
Over the course of their lifetimes, the participants were at much higher risk of negative mental health, self- harm and suicide than the general population. Almost half reported having self-harmed at some point in their lives. Almost 80% had considered suicide, and half of those people had made at least one attempt.
Despite high rates of stress, depression and anxiety, almost half of respondents reported avoiding seeking urgent help or support when distressed. They reported often avoiding mental health services, due to prior negative experiences.
In addition, more than 80% of participants avoided some public places or situations due to fear of harassment. Almost all participants knew someone who had experienced harassment due to being trans, and alarmingly, over 20% reported knowing someone who had been raped and almost 10% knew someone who had been murdered due to being trans.
Improvements to their mental health following transition were reported by 75% of applicable respondents. Over 90% of post-transition participants were more satisfied with their bodies and over 80% more satisfied with their lives as a whole since transitioning. Self-harm and suicidal thoughts were both higher for virtually all respondents prior to transition.
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