According to researchers, transgender students in colleges are 2-4 times more vulnerable to mental illness than other students. The researchers conducted a study under which they analyzed data of over 1200 students that were gender minorities from around 71 US universities which took part in the survey. Gender minorities are people whose gender assigned at birth differs from their current gender.
In the study, around 78% students met criteria for at least 1 mental illness such as, anxiety, eating disorder, suicidal tendencies, depression etc. Approximately 60% gender minority students were tested positive for significant clinical depression which is a lot higher as compared to 28% in cisgender students. According to lead author of the study, Sarah Ketchen Lipson, protection, support and help of transgender students by universities is required no more than ever.
Lipson said in a university news release that transgender men along with gender queer students are under the heaviest risk. She also said that further studies are needed to understand it better. Researches prior to this one have always indicated towards the constant bullying, harassment and discrimination against transgender students. They also have a lot higher drop-out rates than other students due to this inhuman behavior that they face. Bathrooms and dorms are some of the most stressful issues for transgender students. It is due to these things that they show higher suicidal tendencies.
According to co-author of the study Julia Raifman, reports in past have suggested that over 40% of transgender students have tried to take their life in past which is a very disproportionate burden over transgender community. She also added that public health research can help in this situation. Sarah Lipson mentioned that things like mental issues and dropping out of colleges can be prevented by specified in policies that helps them to get a better life.