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AP exposes harm caused by lack of mental health protocols for transgender teens in crisis

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With lawmakers in state after state invoking the best interests of children in pushing for bans or severe limits on health care for transgender children, The AP’s Hannah Schoenbaum and Erik Verduzco teamed up on an all-formats deep dive on the other side of that coin, the impact of the lack of standards of care and treatment for transgender teens in crisis.

In a deeply-reported story out of North Carolina, where Schoenbaum worked as a Report for America staffer until she was hired full time as an AP statehouse reporter in Salt Lake City, she and Charlotte video journalist Verduzco collaborated to tell the moving story of Callum Bradford, who in the midst of a mental health crisis was assigned to a mental health treatment facility inconsistent with his gender identity, sending him spiraling further into the depths of despair.

They spoke to mental health experts about the lack of standardized care for transgender teens in crisis situations, reinforcing the challenges Bradford experienced and exposing the enhanced risk to an already vulnerable population with a vivid example of show-don’t-tell journalism.

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