Observations from ATSAQ regarding the First Australian Trans Mental health study 2013/14. Curtin University undertook the research in conjunction with Beyond Blue and Western Australia Centre for Health Promotion Research.
Gina Mather from ATSAQ (Australian Transgender Support Association Queensland.)
Nearly 500 Trans people participated in the survey from all over Australia. Thus, it is a fair representation of the community. Take for example employment status. 62.4% of the sample reported a gross annual income below $40,000. That compares to the mean Australian income in 2013 of $58,000.
A high proportion of participants possessed a health care card. Also a high proportion of Trans women remain single and most live alone. This may have implications for social support and well-being.
Trans mental health
Of the 57.2% of participants who diagnosed with depression 54.2% were diagnosed in the last 12 months. 44.2% currently receive treatment for depression.
Additionally, of the 39.9% of participants diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, 62.1% received the diagnosis in the last 12 months. 47.8% currently receive treatment.
Sadly, these are only a few examples in the 80 page report.
To sum up, I consider these facts and figures are a sad reflection of governments past and present. They put their heads in the sand with little thought for social interaction or vision of healthcare for Trans people.
There is more disturbing evidence of the tragic circumstances that confront the transgender community in the report. Despite 23 years of continually lobbying the governments of the day, serious obstacles remain on access to services. Additionally, available services are mostly non-government. Only Brisbane offers readily accessible services of any real consequence.
Also, in the far north, Cairns does some great work through the Sexual Health Clinic. However, we should be able to do better for those living in regional and far west QLD.
Gina Mather is the President of the Australian Transgender Support Association Queensland. (ATSAQ)
For more information check out the ATSAQ Facebook page.
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