Riittakerttu Kaltiala, M.D., Ph.D., BSc, is a professor of adolescent psychiatry in Tampere University and chief psychiatrist in the Department of Adolescent Psychiatry at Tampere University Hospital. She is a specialist in psychiatry, adolescent psychiatry, and forensic psychiatry. She has been clinically involved in carrying out research on adolescent gender identity issues since 2011 when one of the two nationally centralized gender identity services for minors was opened in Finland, in Tampere University Hospital. She has been actively involved in service development, continuing education, and scientific writing and collaboration nationally and internationally, and in her home country she has been invited as a member of major national initiatives related to transgender treatment guidelines and legislation. She has published numerous scientific articles on adolescent mental health epidemiology, psychiatric health services research, and clinical adolescent psychiatry.
Riitta tells us about the shift around 2010 in Finland in which health policymakers, politicians, activists, and human rights groups pushed for the inclusion of adolescent and child services for gender transition. The adolescent psychiatrists scrambled to accommodate these new demands but recognized that identity consolidation is known to take more time and they had concerns about such early interventions. Nevertheless, they began developing a program for childhood gender services based on the literature in other countries such as the UK and Netherlands. They were astonished and quite confused when the populations arriving at their services reflected a very different demographic in age, sex, and presentation of other comorbid psychiatric issues. They saw a shift again around 2015 which continued to confound the clinicians. Riitta tells us about reading the Littman ROGD research which accurately documented what she and colleagues were seeing. Dr. Kaltiala also tells us that predictions of improvement and symptom reduction reflected in the Dutch literature were not observed in their work, and describes how Finland has moved towards prioritizing psychological care and meeting all the needs of young patients who present with GD, rather than focusing only on the gender transition requests.
Dr Kaltiala’s Website:
Adolescent GD Current Perspectives:
Lisa Marchiano — Outbreak:
GD and ASD: A Narrative Review
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