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How can young trans people’s mental health be improved? A participatory study

Research project This qualitative project explores young trans people’s mental health and focuses on how it can be improved in the Swedish context.

Quantitative studies have shown that a large proportion of the group young trans persons (persons who do not identify with the gender assigned at birth) report mental ill health and suicidal thoughts. Despite increased visibility of the group studies about the underlying social factors and experiences of mental health are lacking. This study aims to explore young trans people’s own experiences of social factors important for their mental health and to compare with how policy proposals constructs the problem of mental ill health among young trans people. By utilizing a participatory design, the project also aims to develop action plans to improve the mental health of the group.

Head of project

Ida Linander
Research fellow (on leave)

Project overview

Project period:

2020-01-01 2024-12-31

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Epidemiology and Global Health

Research area

Public health and health care science

External funding


Project description

The project builds on three sub-studies. The first sub-study is an interview study with young trans people about social factors important for the mental health. The results from sub-study 1 is used to identify relevant policies for sub-study 2 that will be analysed using Bacchi’s method “What’s the problem represented to be?”. The analysis will focus on how the policies construct the problem of mental ill health among young trans people. For the third sub-study results from sub-study 1 and 2 will be used to develop action plans that aims to improve the mental health of young trans people. Sub-study 3 build on the method concept mapping and will involve several stakeholders (young trans people, healthcare professionals, NGO representatives) in sorting, rating and discussing actions, for example in workshops. The study has an integrated gender perspective and will use theoretical concepts such as cisnormativity and affective labour to analyse and understand the material.

This study fills an important knowledge gap concerning young trans persons mental health and will through its participatory design be able to contribute with action plans that are relevant, feasible and grounded among the users of the research.

External funding

Latest update: 2020-02-11