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Gender-affirming care services at Health & Wellness

University of Toronto sweater with Pride flag in the shape of a rainbow.
Photo: gitypictures

Posted on November 30, 2023

By Sarah Ryeland-Etienne

U of T students contemplating or undergoing gender transition can find support on the St. George campus, and the team at Health & Wellness has created a new online resource to make this care even more visible.

Through advice, medical treatment and more, family doctors and mental health clinicians at Health & Wellness can provide students with support that includes both new assessments and ongoing gender-affirming care. Family doctors can provide documentation and referrals to help students access medical transition-related and gender-affirming surgery, and nurses are able to give hormone injections, as well as teach clients how to do the injections themselves.

“Our primary care and mental health care clinicians have been providing this support for years and are actively engaged in advancing gender-affirming care in the community,” says Janine Robb, Executive Director of Health & Wellness. “But students aren’t always aware that they can receive gender-affirming care right here at the Health & Wellness Centre, so we created a web page to make accessing that information even easier.”

Mental health clinicians are also an integral part of the gender-affirming care offered at Health & Wellness. Understanding that gender narratives are fluid, they offer resources for students who are contemplating transition, are currently transitioning, have already transitioned or are seeking other types of support.

The Health & Wellness team also wants clients to know that they do not require a mental health screening or diagnosis for access to gender-affirming care.

“Non-binary and trans people identify and present in many different ways and we acknowledge that their past experiences with health-care providers may not have been positive,” says Robb. “To help counteract that, we focus on a shared decision-making and consent model that honours everyone’s unique experience.”

While Health & Wellness does not require a diagnosis to access gender-affirming care, extended health plans may require one to provide coverage for certain services and products. Students can contact their extended health plan provider to confirm coverage.

Privacy and confidentiality are taken seriously. Health & Wellness reminds students that they cannot release personal information about clients, the type of services accessed or what is discussed during appointments to anyone (including family) without written permission, except in extremely exceptional circumstances.

To learn more about the services available through Health & Wellness, as well as gender-affirming care, visit healthandwellness.utoronto.ca.