A new study confirms that transgender veterans face higher risks of mental health issues than the general veteran population. The research shows that almost half of all military veterans who identify as transgender will be hospitalized as a result of suicidal thoughts or an attempt at suicide. In addition the research shows that 9 in 10 transgender veterans will be diagnosed with at least one mental health disorder like depression or PTSD. According to Salt Lake City Veterans Affairs Medical Center endocrinologist Marissa Grotzke, M.D., the principal investigator on the study, “As more of our active military returns from deployment and transitions to veteran status, the health care system will be faced with treating more transgender veterans who have mental health issues. These findings highlight the need to improve the quality of care for our transgender veterans.”
The findings of the study on transgender veterans and mental health issues will be presented in Boston when the The Endocrine Society holds it’s 98th annual meeting. According to the research to date active members and veterans of the military have a rate of gender dysphoria which is 4 times the rate for the general population. Both the military population and the gender dysphoria population have higher than average rates of mental health disorders, but until now studies on individuals in both groups have not been performed. Transgenders, whether civilian or veteran, face higher rates of mental illness. The same is also true for veterans and active military populations. Individuals in both categories are at a much higher risk for mental illness as a result.