Statement from the Anna Freud Centre on the gender clinic judicial review 

23rd October 2020  |  By:

The Anna Freud Centre has issued a statement on the judicial review being brought against the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust. 

The Anna Freud Centre believes all children and young people should be celebrated and valued for who they are, have their views respected and be entitled to live in an environment where they are protected from discrimination and rejection.

Children have the right to be listened to independently and have their wishes taken seriously. They should also have the right and opportunity to assert their views about their own physical and mental health. In doing so, children and young people who are trans, non-binary, gender non-conforming or exploring are entitled to be supported. We stand in solidarity with them.

Young people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or gender non-conforming are roughly two-and-a-half times more likely to have a mental health problem than young people who identify as heterosexual,[i] report higher rates of suicidal ideation, suicidal behaviour, mood and anxiety disorder symptoms, and higher levels of emotional distress when compared to heterosexual young people.[ii]

The rejection, isolation and discrimination that many trans children and young people face has serious consequences and denying young people their agency can intensify these experiences. The Anna Freud Centre unequivocally supports the right for all children and young people to grow up in an environment where they can assert their individuality and flourish.

[i] NHS Digital (2018). Mental Health of Children and Young People in England, 2017: Summary of Key Findings. Government Statistical Service.
[ii] Eskin et al., 2005; Fergusson et al., 2005; Fleming et al., 2007; Marshal et al., 2011; Russell & Fish, 2016.

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