The Royal Children’s Hospital is about to embark on a 20 year study that is set to change the lives of transgender youth for generations to come.
The Trans20 Project is an Australian-first, 20 year longitudinal study, which is aiming to improve medical and mental health outcomes for transgender youth.
The study is being led by Associate Professor Michelle Telfer, Head of Department of Adolescent Medicine, who said this will enable the current generation of trans and gender diverse children, and adolescents receiving care from the RCH Gender Service, the opportunity to improve the lives of transgender youth in the future.
“We know that the world is a difficult place to be for trans people. So difficult, in fact, that in Australia today, 80 per cent of transgender young self-harm and 48 per cent attempt suicide by the time they are 24-years-old. We hear their difficulties on a daily basis, we see it in our clinics and yet, without the evidence to inform us of what we can do to improve this, we will fail to keep the next generation safe and well,” A/Prof Telfer said.
Longitudinal studies have now commenced in the US and Europe. The RCH Gender Service is well-placed to conduct this type of research on a large, internationally-recognised scale.
More than 300 trans youth have already signed up to be part of the study.
In 2015, the RCH Gender Service was expanded to meet increasing community demand, and referrals to the RCH are on the rise, with more than 250 expected during 2017 alone.
This study is being funded by The Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation.