So my cousin asked me to have a look into trans mental health. This is something I’ve really struggled with. Because I’ve been trying to find out stuff and find the right words but to be honest there really isn’t much out there.
Mind are brilliant and they have a whole section on LGBT mental health. They have information on support, personal stories and what to do if you need help. There is also specific LGBT 🏳️🌈 organisations and charities. But I couldn’t find much positive news/ things we are doing for specifically trans mental health.
One thing I did find that the World Health organisation up until recently classed transgenderism as a mental illness/mental “disorder”. They have now changed this (hallelujah)! For one I think it’s scary to think we still use the words “mental disorder”. I think it has such a bad feel to it, it sounds so negative. We have even started to move away from using “disorder” in the physical medical world, as a nurse I really don’t hear it very often anymore.
It’s outfashioned and outdated in my opinion. But secondly and my most important point; being transgender is NOT an illness. It is not a mental health illness. Those who are transgender are unfortunately more likely to suffer with mental health illnesses but it is not one in itself. I think to suggest it is, is wrong. It’s scary to think that one of our biggest health organisations described it as this.
So what did I discover on my quest to find out about trans mental health? Well, we have a lot of work to do. I found out that those who are LGBT are at higher risk of developing a mental health illness due to bullying, lack of acceptance and discrimination. This is so sad and just shows we need to change.
But yesterday I watched Bristol pride and felt so much love. It was wonderful to see so much support just for people being themselves. I saw so many organisations coming out and supporting pride; football clubs, health services, shops, political parties, it was wonderful.
However I hope one day the feel of protest is not a part of pride. I hope in the future it is not something we need to protest about. That one day it is accepted and there is no negativity, just love, just celebration.
So here’s to a future of improving mental health services for everyone. To recognising those who are at more risk and improving the support that is out there.
Love, Kate. X