Who we are:

The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) Gender Service provides medical and mental health services and support for transgender children, adolescents and their families.

We need your support because the demand for our service has increased dramatically in the past five years, with over 250 transgender children and adolescents asking for our help in 2017.

We are the largest expert team providing services to transgender children, adolescents and their families in Australia. Our team of specialists include Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Adolescent Paediatricians, Endocrinologists, Gynaecologists, Speech Pathology and Nursing. In 2017 we commenced a research program called Trans20, a longitudinal cohort study to improve the outcomes of transgender youth in Australia. Trans20 involves assessment of children and adolescents who are seen in the RCH Gender Service to measure their physical health, mental health, quality of life, educational and family functioning over time. Continuing this research is only possible with the generous financial contribution from the community.

What does the term transgender mean?

Many people don’t realise that there is a difference between sex and gender. Gender is a person’s sense of whether they are male, female or somewhere in between, whereas sex refers to a person’s biological appearance.

A transgender person feels that there’s a mismatch between their sex and their gender identity. When there is distress about this mismatch, we use the term gender dysphoria.

Transgender children and adolescents face many difficulties due to a lack of understanding by family members, school communities and peer groups. They often experience stigma, discrimination, exclusion and bullying. These negative experiences may lead to problems such as depression and anxiety.

Who we help:

Transgender children often feel unhappy with the body they have from as young as two or three years old. Things can get particularly distressing during puberty when a teenager notices their body’s not growing in the way they inherently feel it should. Without proper medical support, these young people and their families are at risk of depression, anxiety and other issues.

Why we need your support:

Medical assistance provided at the right time and with the right support can improve the quality of life for transgender young people and their families. Our research, through the Trans20 program, will help us to improve the lives of transgender people in the longer term.

We would like to thank Transcend (link: www.transcendsupport.com.au), an Australian based support group for transgender children, adolescents and their families for their ongoing support of this service at the RCH and of course, the families that require our care.

The Royal Children's Hospital Foundation, Melbourne

The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne is the major specialist paediatric hospital in Victoria and provides a full range of clinical services and health promotion and prevention programs for infants through to adolescents.

The Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation plays a vital role in providing additional funding to support important research projects and purchase state of the art medical equipment to ensure that every child receives the very best treatment now and into the future.
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