Transgender and Gender Diverse Individuals at Greater Risk For Suicidal Ideation

Jessica George ’24

Figure 1: Transgender and gender diverse individuals are at particularly greater risk for suicidal ideation 

Suicide has been a long standing issue in the United States, with several socio-demographic and economic factors affecting an individual’s susceptibility to suicide risk. Transgender and gender diverse individuals (TGD) are at especially high risk. Given the high rates of suicide among TGD, as well as the lack of research in this area, it is important to address this gap. Dr. Kirakosian from the University of Miami and colleagues investigated the prevalence of suicidal ideation among TGD individuals compared to cisgender individuals seeking care at community health clinics in the northeast. 

The study included 29,988 patients who sought care at Fenway Health between 2015 and 2018. The mean age of the participants was 33.9, the majority were white, about half identified as LGBTQ+, and only 10.5% identified as TGD (transgender man, transgender woman, non binary assigned male at birth (NB AMAB), and non binary assigned female at birth (NB AFAB)). The participants completed an electronic patient-reported outcome measures survey that assessed various aspects of their demographics and suicidal ideation, using the 9-item patient health questionnaire (PHQ-9). In order to analyze the results of the survey and determine if any associations existed, a two step logistic regression was utilized. 

The results of the study showed that all subgroups of TGD individuals had a significantly higher prevalence of suicidal ideation compared to cisgender individuals. Specifically, 17–26% of transgender and gender diverse individuals reported experiencing suicidal ideation, compared to 6-7% of cisgender individuals. The four TGD groups were also compared to each other. Results indicated that the percentage of NB AMAB individuals (26.7%) demonstrating suicidal ideation was greatest and the percentage of transgender men (17.4%) was the smallest of the subgroups. 

In conclusion, this study highlights the need for targeted interventions to address the mental health needs of transgender and gender diverse individuals. The findings of the study underscore the importance of addressing the root causes of suicidal ideation among this population, including discrimination and lack of access to healthcare. The study also points to the need for further research in this area to identify effective interventions to reduce the prevalence of suicidal ideation among transgender and gender diverse individuals.

[1] N. Kirakosian, et al., Suicidal Ideation Disparities Among Transgender and Gender Diverse Compared to Cisgender Community Health Patients. J Gen Intern Med, 1-9 (2023). doi: 10.1007/s11606-022-07996-2
[2] Image retrieved from: 


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