Disability in Focus: March 2021

Mental Health Support Needed for Transgender Adults with Disabilities

Everyone has a gender identity, including men, women, people who are neither men nor women, and people who are both.


Transgender person transgender symbol 

DIfferent gender identity from what

they were called at birth


Cisgender person     cisgender male and female symbols

Same gender identity as what

they were called at birth




2 in 5

2 blue people and 3 gray people

NH adults who are transgender have a diability



Adults who are transgender are 2 times more likely to have a disability than adults who are cisgender.  This includes one or more disabilities related to mobility, cognition, vision, hearing, and more.  People who belong to more than one social group, like people with disabilities who are also transgender, often have more physical and mental health risks.




Mental Health

When adults were asked about stress, depression, and problems with emotions in the last 30 days, people who were cisgender had fewer bad days (9 days) than people who were transgender (13 days).  People with disabilities who were also  transgender had the most mentally unhealthy days (18 days).


"The way others treat me based on my gender identity has negatively impacted my mental health at times... it has made me anxious about going out in the world."


- Transgender person with a disability


Average number of bad mental health days in the last month

calendar showing transgender adults with disabilities have the most bad mental health days 

Cisgender: 9 days

cisgender symbols

 Transgender: 13 days

transgender symbol

 Transgender with Disability: 18 days

transgender and disability symbols


Strategies to Support the Mental Health of People with Disabilities Who Are Transgender:


  • Avoid making assumptions about gender identity. Ask which pronouns people use to describe themselves (for example: he, she, they, and others);
  • Update data collection forms and electronic health record systems, so that people can include the name, gender identity, and pronouns they use;
  • Contact the NH Disability & Public Health Project with questions about cultural competence, accessibility and inclusion for people with disabilities who are also part of other social groups.

"All healthcare professionals should know to ask about pronouns.  It signals to the patient that it's safe to open up and discuss healthcare needs."

- Transgender person with a disability     transgender symbol and wheelchair symbol

Download the data brief here.

We want to hear from you! As always, we will use your comments to improve our work.

Data source: 2019 NH Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), available through the CDC.

​This content is solely the responsibility of the NH Disability & Public Health Project and does not necessarily represent the views of the CDC or US DHHS.