Gender Affirming Care In Los Angeles
According to a study conducted by UCLA’s Williams Institute in 2022, over 1.6 million people aged 13 years or older identify as transgender. With over 1.6 million individuals in the United States identifying as transgender, it is clear that gender-affirming care contributes to positive mental health outcomes for all demographics.
Currently, multiple states have a law or policy banning gender-affirming care, and there are more states considering a law or policy banning the care. These laws and policies have taken different forms, including outright bans on gender-affirming medical treatments for minors, requirements for parental consent or court orders, and penalties for healthcare providers who provide gender-affirming care to minors.
Our treatment center’s goal is to support transgender and nonbinary individuals by respecting their gender identity, using preferred pronouns and names, and providing social support to help them focus on social transitions and feel connected, validated, and empowered. Launch Centers does not directly provide hormone therapy, puberty blockers, or gender-affirming surgery, but we are more than happy to help clients find those resources.
Gender-Affirming Care & Mental Health
Gender-affirming care and mental health support are key components to providing positive mental health outcomes for transgender and nonbinary youth. These individuals often experience mental health challenges due to societal stigma, discrimination, and difficulties related to gender identity and expression.
According to a survey by the American Journal of Public Health, 44.1% of transgender individuals experienced clinical depression due to the stigma they faced, while 33.2% experienced anxiety due to the same reason. Another study by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that transgender youth who did not have access to gender-affirming medical care had a 4 times higher risk of attempting suicide than those who did receive gender-affirming care.
This is often attributed to factors such as increased exposure to trauma, lack of family support, and higher rates of homelessness. Poor mental health can also lead to risky behaviors such as drug abuse. As the rates of mental health disorders increase, addiction rates tend to follow suit.
Gender-Affirming Therapy At Launch Centers
Our approach to supporting mental health in LGBTQ+ individuals is through gender-affirming therapy, which helps individuals explore and affirm their gender identity without trying to “repair” it. Gender-affirming therapy aims to address core themes commonly experienced by transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) individuals.
These themes include trauma resulting from societal transphobia, shame and anxiety related to feeling flawed or different, depression due to lack of support, self-harm and suicidal ideation, violence, and struggles with sexual orientation.
Gender-affirming therapy can help reduce suicidal ideation and other mental health concerns by affirming an individual’s gender identity, providing support and validation, and helping individuals develop coping strategies for navigating the challenges of gender dysphoria and discrimination.
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Addiction Rates Among Transgender Youth
Transgender individuals face heavy burdens due to the stigmatization of mental illness and gender nonconformity in society. As a result, they may internalize these negative views and avoid seeking help, engaging in substance abuse to cope with mental health issues.
According to research, substance use disorders (SUDs) are much more prevalent among transgender individuals than among cisgender individuals. For instance, compared to cisgender individuals, drug use was 3.6 times higher among transgender individuals. Transgender individuals also had significantly higher rates of marijuana-related SUDs (5 times), cocaine SUDs (4 times), and opioid SUDs (3 times).
Additionally, a study found that 47% of transgender adults reported binge drinking in the previous three months, compared to 17% of the general population. Furthermore, younger transgender adults (aged 18-25) are more likely than older transgender people and cisgender people of all ages to have any type of SUD except nicotine-related SUDs.
Local & Online Gender-Affirming Care Resources
- Los Angeles LGBTQ+ Center provides local health services, culture education, social services, housing, and more.
- Transforming Families provides peer support, education and training, and events to families.
- TransYouth Family Allies partners with educators, service providers, and communities to empower and create supportive environments for the youth.
- PFLAG Transgender Network is a national resource for supporting, advocating, and education communities.
- The Trevor Project is a national organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ+ youth and advocates for policies and legislation that promote the health and well-being of LGBTQ+ youth.
- TransFamily Support Services guides communities to become more supportive by offering support groups, family engagement services, and training services.
- National Center for Transgender Equality is a social justice advocacy organization for transgender individuals.
- National Suicide Prevention Hotline provides 24/7 free phone support, crisis prevention, and resources for those in need.
Launch Centers in Los Angeles, CA, provides holistic and dual diagnosis treatment to young adults struggling with trauma, mental health concerns, and addiction. This includes providing gender-affirming care, including therapy, to those struggling with gender identity or mental health issues. Launch Centers brings individualized care and a trauma-informed approach to ensure our clients have the best resources available.
If you or a loved one are struggling with gender identity, substance abuse, or mental health issues, contact us today to learn more about our programs. Finding the proper care can be challenging, but we can help you begin your new life.