Washington DC: Turns out, when transgender people are denied mental health care, they tend to become more prone to inflict self-harm and substance abuse.
The finding comes from a study conducted by the New York University.
The findings hold critical implications for service access and delivery policies that protect transgender help-seekers in the health care system.
The study co-authored by Michael A. Lindsey draw correlations between lower levels of mental health care access and its deleterious effects on transgender people from their analysis of the responses of 4,190 respondents in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey.
The study findings indicate that about 25 per cent of the survey respondents had been denied access to one or more healthcare settings, and 28 per cent had been turned away from at least one setting. It is everyday discrimination that can lead LGBT people to seek out the care in the first place, the study authors noted.
According to the study, the consequences of service denial are not directly associated with a heightened risk of attempted suicide. Rather, service denial, whether due to systemic barriers or low-quality care settings, contributes to increased rates of substance abuse as a coping method.
The use of substances, in turn, contributes to the greater risk of attempted suicide evidenced by the survey data.
The study appears in the journal Administration and Policy in Mental Health.