Transgender health considerations include both primary and psychosocial care and support.
Transgender and gender-nonconforming people, in general, have three types of need for mental health.
- 1. Gender identity: determining one’s gender identity and self-acceptance of one’s gender identity; may also include assessment of and preparation for various gender-affirming treatments and procedures.
- 2. Coming out and social transition: includes coming out to family, friends, coworkers, and other relationships; developing tools to cope with being transgender in a sometimes transphobic world.
- 3. General mental health issues: a variety of mental health concerns experienced by transgender people including mood disorders, anxiety, substance abuse, and suicide contemplation.
The conflict and internal pain transgender people may feel when they realize their assigned sex does not match their gender identity can be intolerable. The life stage when this acknowledgment occurs can vary greatly from person to person. Similarly, the age at which treatment (mental or otherwise) also varies.
Stress and anxiety around the coming out process can be much more significant for transgender people than it is for lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals. In fact, if a transgender person decides to move forward with transitioning, they are forced to come out to people they interact with unless they choose to relocate and create new identities on social media. The coming out process can be emotionally exhausting. Workplace issues that are unique to transgender workers include bathroom accessibility issues, deliberate use of incorrect pronouns, and inappropriate probing questions. A support system throughout this process is critical as transgender people can face mistreatment, harassment, and significant distress.
TransLucent Resources assists employees with putting together a customized transition plan which helps with decisions and the associated planning for when, how, where, and to whom a transgender person chooses to come out. We also assist with referrals to mental health providers that specialize in transgender issues.