Trans Health Connection is a project whose goal is to increase the capacity of Ontario’s primary health care system to provide high-quality, comprehensive care to trans communities through training, education, mentorship, resources, and networking.
Trans and gender-diverse people in Ontario are frequently denied health care, or are treated with disrespect within health care settings. Primary health care, such as hormone treatment, is not currently a part of the standard medical education curriculum, and many clinicians have never seen (or believe they have never seen) gender-diverse people in their practice. Trans and gender-diverse people are continually referred “elsewhere”- even when their health needs are routine.
There is currently strong and diverse leadership for gender-diverse folks in communities across the province that THC supports through mentorship and networking. At the same time, many regions of the province still lack services, and THC is working to improve that through training, education, relationship building and connecting with local gender-diverse communities.
Everyone has a right to basic health care close to home and Trans Health Connection is working to make this a reality.
Upcoming Trans Health Connection Trainings
Upcoming training available: Introduction to Gender Diversity, May 22 in Ottawa
- Tuesday, May 22, 9 am to 3 pm
Introduction to Gender Diversity
Open to all healthcare providers
Register| Download the PDF poster
Trans Primary Care
A new groundbreaking resource for health care providers – an online, illustrated guide to the primary health care needs of trans and gender-diverse clients.
Learn more at www.rainbowhealthontario.ca/tcg
Call for feedback from primary care providers
We are currently evaluating the Trans Primary Care Guide through an anonymous, online survey. We would greatly appreciate the feedback of health care providers!
To participate in the survey please click:Take our survey
Changes to Referral Process for Gender Confirming Surgeries in Ontario
As of March 1st, 2016, the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) has changed the funding criteria for gender confirming surgeries by allowing qualified providers throughout the province to refer clients for surgeries.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s website outlines these changes.
The Ministry also released an information bulletin for providers.
There is a specific medical form that providers are being asked to use with this new referral system.
The OHIP Schedule of Benefits outlines fees for providers.
RHO developed a new training module for providers that covers the new referral system. We are working with providers across the province on the implementation of the new referral process.
About Our Training
Our comprehensive training is comprised of seven, day-long modules that cover fundamental aspects of general care and transition care for trans communities.
To request training, please fill out our training form further down on this page.
Introduction to Gender Diversity
– for all members of health or social service organizations
This session is an introductory cultural humility module for all members of health and social service agencies, focused on gender diversity. This session is delivered in partnership with community facilitators.
– Language, terminology, definitions, history, intersectionality, and social context.
– Social determinants of health for trans and gender-diverse communities
– Understanding transphobia in the context of other systems (patriarchy, racism, colonization) that influence health care and health care access
– Recognizing and addressing barriers to care
– Providing a welcoming and respectful environment for gender-diverse clients
Trans and Gender Diverse Primary Care
This session is primarily for physicians and nurse practitioners (health care providers who are in a prescribing role), as well as other medical providers. For mental health providers who are interested in information around medical transitions, please see below MODULE 5.
– Initiating and monitoring hormone prescribing
– Completing assessment, monitoring, and follow-up for hormone therapy
– Utilizing local clinical guidelines to inform and guide practice
– Ongoing preventative care for trans and gender diverse clients
– Providing holistic community-based transition-related services to trans and gender-diverse clients
Gender Affirming Surgeries: Planning, Referral, and Care
This session is primarily for service providers who can play a role in the surgical referral process in Ontario, including Registered Social Workers, Registered Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Psychologists, and Physicians.
– Understanding recent regulatory context and the current process of surgical referral
– Understanding risks and pre- and post-op considerations for 7 funded procedures
– Planning for successful surgeries with trans and gender diverse people
– Completing requests for OHIP funding (as primary and secondary referring provider)
– Writing effective letters of referral to surgical providers
– Supporting clients holistically throughout the referral process
Counselling, Advocacy, and Mental Health Support for Trans and Gender-Diverse People
This session is directed at any providers working in the mental health field, as well as others in an advocacy role. It can also be adapted to focus on adult and/or youth populations.
– Review of language, concepts, and health disparities
– Standards of care and mental health competencies
– Understanding how to provide gender affirming mental health care
– Unpacking common counselling issues (depression, anxiety, relationships, substance use, etc) through the lens of intersectionality, microaggressions, and “minority stress”
– Practical arts-based tools for clinical practice
– Working with partners, families, parents, kids, and other significant loved ones
What Counsellors Need to Know About Hormones
This session is directed at mental health providers and students who have attended an introductory module and/or have some foundational knowledge of gender identity and social determinants of health.
– New and emerging best practices for binary and non-binary clients’ medical transition
– Masculinising and feminising hormone therapies
– Providing support to binary and non-binary people undergoing medical transition
– Exploring central experiences of transition
– Practical tools for supporting gender diverse folks through transition options and decisions
Supporting Gender Independent and Trans Children and Youth
This session is directed at mental health providers and students working in children’s mental health settings, as well as others in advocacy roles.
– The needs of gender independent and trans children, youth, and their families
– Supporting families through change, safety, advocacy, and choices around interventions
– Effective and affirming strategies for supporting children and youth, in diverse settings (mental health, recreation, primary care, etc)
– Evidence based and informed practices
– Information about medical and non-medical interventions
Attachment & Trauma-Informed Counselling with Trans People and Their Loved Ones
This session is directed at mental health providers and students who have completed training and/or already have some foundational knowledge of gender identity, social determinants of health, and counselling with trans and gender diverse communities.*Session can be adapted to focus on attachment-based work with trans youth/young adults and their parents.
- Trauma-informed practice
- understanding the impacts of transphobia, transmisogyny and attachment ruptures on mental health
- recognizing and reducing microaggressions in clinical practice; repairing therapeutic ruptures when they happen
- Attachment-informed practice
- The importance of emotion regulation in work with parents of trans youth; tools and strategies for supporting emotion regulation
- Best practices working with the family system (siblings, parents, partners & children of trans people)
- Introduction to a family therapy model for working with trans youth/young adults and their parents: An adaptation of ABFT (Attachment Based Family Therapy)
- Trauma-informed practice
Weekly Mentorship Calls: Wednesdays, 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
This is an opportunity for professional service providers across the province to call in by telephone and connect with clinicians with experience working with gender-diverse clients.
If you are interested in participating in the mentorship program, please fill out the registration form below.
The mentorship program is open to any professional (physician, nurse, social worker, mental health worker, etc) who is already working with gender-diverse clients or who is intending to do so. Providers are invited to build knowledge, ask questions, and share experiences.
The topics discussed range from specific case-based questions to more general social or ethical issues. By sharing their learning, practitioners are also creating a community of practice and establishing valuable professional networks.
List your services in our directory
If you are an LGBTQ-friendly health or social service provider in Ontario and/or your organization provides an LGBTQ-friendly program or service, we encourage you to list yourself or your organization in the Service Provider Directory.