Change in Finances, Peer Access, and Mental Health Among Trans and Non-binary People in Canada During COVID-19 [article]

Monica A. Ghabrial, Ayden I. Scheim, Caiden Chih, Heather Santos, Noah J. Adams, Greta R. Bauer
2021 medRxiv   pre-print
Purpose COVID-related stressors associated with loss of income and community are compounded with gender minority stress among trans and non-binary people (TNB), which may result in mental health burden. The present study examined the effect of COVID-related change in finances and TNB gathering access on anxiety and depression among TNB people. Methods Participants were 18 years and older (M age = 30) who completed both pre-pandemic baseline (Fall 2019) and pandemic follow-up (Fall 2020) surveys
more » ... in the Trans PULSE Canada study. Multivariable regression analyses examined associations between change in (1) finances and (2) access to TNB peers and mental health during the pandemic. Results Of 780 participants, 50% reported that COVID had a negative effect on personal income and 58.3% reported loss in access to TNB peer or friend gatherings (in person or online). Depression and anxiety symptoms increased from pre-pandemic to follow-up, and most participants were above measurement cut-offs for clinical levels during the pandemic. Changes in finances and access to peer gatherings were associated with depression symptoms during the pandemic, but effects depended on level of pre-pandemic depression. For participants with high pre-pandemic depression, financial stability was not protective against increased depression at follow-up. Participants experiencing unprecedentedly high levels of depression during COVID may have pursued more TNB gatherings. Neither financial change nor access to TNB gatherings were associated with pandemic anxiety. Conclusion Findings suggest need for a multifaceted approach to mental health programmes and services to address structural barriers, including financial support and meaningful TNB community engagement.
doi:10.1101/2021.12.13.21267077 fatcat:jtbm676rdvbzlld44qda32zvti