Research finds that calling trans youth by preferred name can reduce suicides
Could acceptance be the answer to reducing trans teen suicide?
Researchers believe so after conducting a study with 129 transgender and gender nonconforming youths.
The study found that simply calling trans teens by their preferred name can significantly improve their mental health.
Those carrying out the study assessed the use of the teens chosen names across multiple contexts and examined its association with depression and suicidal behaviour.
They concluded that for transgender youth who choose a name different from the one given at birth, the use of that chosen name by other people affirms their gender identity and improves their mental health.
LGBTQIA youth is one of the highest risk demographics when it comes to teen suicide.
One of the authors of the study, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, Stephen T. Russell said;
“We showed that the more contexts or settings where [trans youth] were able to use their preferred name, the stronger their mental health was. It’s practical to support young people in using the name that they choose. It’s respectful and developmentally appropriate.”
The word transgender is becoming more common in the general lexicon. Because of this, there has been a steady rise in the number of young people comfortably identifying as trans.
As adults it's our job to help support young people through big changes in their lives with kindness and understanding.