Trans young people experience a range of pressures including discrimination, victimisation and harassment. Given that mental illness usually emerges in adolescence, trans young people are especially at risk of developing mental health difficulties. Face-to-face support services exist, but many trans youth do not use these services because of difficulties with access, social anxiety, stigma, and lack of understanding from health care professionals. Online interventions offer an acceptable, convenient, and private alternative to these services, however, there are currently no evidence-based online interventions aimed at preventing or treating mental illness for this population. The aim of this project is to adapt an existing, evidence-based, online program (SPARX) for use with trans youth to prevent depression in this high-risk group. The research team will work with trans young people to co-design and develop a new version of SPARX specifically for trans youth. The current presentation will outline preliminary findings from focus groups with trans young people regarding their attitudes towards online and preventive mental health interventions, as well as their suggested adaptations to the SPARX program to address the specific needs of trans youth.
Dr Yael Perry is a clinical researcher and psychologist. She is currently a Research Fellow in the Youth Mental Health team at Telethon Kids Institute in Perth, WA. YaelÛªs research interests include the development and evaluation of novel mental health interventions for vulnerable young people, including LGBTIQ youth.