Public Lecture: Transgender Youth - Medical and Mental Health Needs

4 April 2019, 6.00 PM - 4 April 2019, 8.00 PM

Lady Hale Moot Court, 8-10 Berkeley Square, University of Bristol Law School

Professor Johanna Olson-Kennedy, a global leader in the field of transgender healthcare and the Benjamin Meaker Visiting Professor, will deliver a public lecture at the University of Bristol Law School on 4 April 2019.

The title of Professor Olson-Kennedy’s lecture is ‘Transgender Youth - An overview of medical and mental health needs of gender non-conforming children and transgender adolescents.’

The lecture will explore key elements of providing comprehensive care for transgender youth, including gender development, recognising signs and symptoms of gender dysphoria, mental health challenges commonly faced by transgender youth, and the use of medications to facilitate gender transitions. The lecture will be compelling listening for all individuals interested in issues relating to transgender children – including clinicians, civil society, educators, policy-makers and parents.

Booking Information: Please register for this event via Eventbrite

Professor Johanna Olson-Kennedy, MD, is an Adolescent Medicine physician and researcher specializing in the care of gender non-conforming children and transgender youth. She is currently Medical Director of the Centre for Transyouth Health and Development at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles, the largest transgender youth clinic in the United States.

Since 2015, Professor Olson-Kennedy has been the Principal Investigator on a multi-million-dollar, multi-centre research project (funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) charting the long-term impact of affirmative interventions for transgender children. Professor Olson-Kennedy is regularly invited to speak on issues relating to transgender youth, and she is currently a member of World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH).

Lecture Abstract: 

"Transgender youth are a vulnerable population with unique needs that span the professional arenas of medicine, social work, mental health and law. They are at increased risk for negative health outcomes including depression, anxiety, isolation, drug use, and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. 

Gender dysphoria is best understood as the ongoing distress experienced by transgender individuals about the incongruence between ones assigned sex and one’s internal gender identity. This ongoing distress frequently results in impairment of function. While not all transgender individuals experience gender dysphoria, many require physical changes to their bodies in order to bring them into closer alignment with their internal gender identity.

Unfortunately, access to competent mental health and medical care for those youth desiring gender transition is still extremely rare, and often inadequate. Timely and appropriate treatment for transgender youth undergoing phenotypic gender transition is critical for these young people to move forward and thrive in often hostile environments.

This lecture covers the basic elements of providing comprehensive care for trans youth, including gender development, recognizing signs and symptoms of gender dysphoria, the impact of cis-gender normative environments on trans youth, mental health challenges commonly faced by trans youth, and the use of medications to facilitate gender transitions."

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