Viral tweet falsely claims that gender-affirming health care causes children to die by suicide

A recent viral social media post from psychologist and author Jordan Peterson falsely claimed that gender-affirming health care causes children to die by suicide. As of May 16, the post received 941,800 views, 34,000 likes, and 6,700 shares.

Recommendation: Trending conversations about gender-affirming health care for transgender youth and mental health provide an opportunity to educate target populations about transgender identity; prebunk false claims about gender-affirming health care; and share mental health resources for transgender youth. Messaging may emphasize that access to gender-affirming health care reduces the risk of suicide and depression among transgender youth. A 2021 survey by the Trevor Project found that among transgender youth 18 and younger, one year of gender-affirming hormone therapy reduced the odds of depression and attempting suicide by 40 percent. Updating informational materials covering mental health and LGBTQ+ issues to explain that transgender identity is not a mental health condition is recommended. Ensuring that mental health-related FAQ sheets and one-pagers are updated to include resources for transgender youth and their families—such as support groups, the Trevor Project crisis line, and the Trans Lifeline—is also recommended.