Suicide in Trans Populations: A Systematic Review of Prevalence and Correlates

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Abstract

Trans people experience high rates of attempted suicide and suicidal ideation. No study to date has collated the various findings concerning correlates of trans suicide. This systematic review aimed to summarize the available data and provide recommendations based on this evidence. Articles were included if they were published before November 2016, were in English, were peer reviewed, and presented data concerning trans people’s suicide attempts or ideation. Nine databases were searched, and 30 articles were selected. Discrimination emerged as strongly related to suicidal ideation and attempts, whereas positive social interactions and timely access to interventions appeared protective. Limitations included differences in how articles defined trans people or measured suicide and in their largely cross-sectional nature, making assumptions about causality in reference to lifetime ideation or attempts impossible. However, results clearly indicated a need to work at both individual and structural levels to reduce society- and service-level discrimination, enhance peer support, and ensure access to required interventions. The review highlights the need to explore suicidality in the trans population both in relation to general suicide models and in relation to models of minority stress.

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