Transgender Health Care

Transgender care during COVID-19

Please note the following changes to our programming and services: 

  • In-person programs such as groups and drop-in services will not be running until further notice.
    Gender Journeys and Gender Intersect meetings are on hiatus until further notice. Out on the Shelf's programming has also been postponed. 
    For now, the Trans Drop-in will be offered online and peers are monitoring the Gender Intersect Facebook page in the meantime. You can contact education [at] archguelph.ca if you have questions or concerns about our trans programming and available resources.

  • ARCH Clinic will only be seeing patients in-person on a case-by-case basis. 
    All other appointments will be offered online through OTN video call eVisits. You will be contacted before your appointment for individual arrangements.

  • Harm reduction supplies will NO LONGER be distributed at our ARCH office on Westmount Road.
    Please make sure that you have 14-days worth of necessary medications (and supplies that you may need to administer them). If you require HRT/hormone injections, you can contact ARCH Clinic directly to organize a time to pick them up (519-780-5298). You can also access harm reduction supplies at the Stay Sharp office located in the Guelph Community Health Center.

  • Please contact the appropriate health authorities if you may have been exposed to COVID-19.
    Do not come to ARCH Clinic, but instead call the following numbers for further direction and testing:
    Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health1-800-265-7293 ext. 7006
    Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health after hours1-877-884-8653
    Region of Waterloo Public Health Services: 519-575-4400
    Telehealth1-866-797-0000

There is still support available: The Trans Drop-In is now offered online!

Online Peer Support is a live online chat service for people who are navigating their gender identity, trans experience, or those of a loved one who is trans, two spirit, gender non-conforming, or otherwise not cisgender. Facilitated by trained peer worker moderators, each free chat session offers an intentional community, peer-support space for people of all genders who are ages 16 and older. This is a space to share experiences, and to benefit from the empathy and understanding of others in a constructive, peer-to-peer way.

These chat conversations are intended to provide peer-based support, and are in no way an alternative to therapeutic services or counselling. If you would like more information about services and other programs for navigating your gender, transition, or other needs, please see the links below or ask one of the moderators directly.

How to joinhttps://zoom.us/j/646849825

+14388097799,,646849825# Canada

+15873281099,,646849825# Canada

 

Dial by your location

+1 438 809 7799 Canada

+1 587 328 1099 Canada

+1 647 374 4685 Canada

+1 647 558 0588 Canada

+1 778 907 2071 Canada

 

Meeting ID: 646 849 825

 

Having trouble accessing our community chats over Zoom? Check out these tutorials for help!

Joining a Meeting

Joining and Configuring Audio & Video

 

    

Trans Community Chat Guidelines

If you have any questions about the Rules below, please contact <education [at] archguelph.ca>

  • Confidentiality is essential
    Anything discussed in the group should not be discussed outside of the group. Anything you share will be kept in confidence by all group members, except in the following circumstances:

    - You are clearly in imminent danger of seriously physically harming yourself or other person/s;
    - There are reasonable grounds to suspect that you are being abused or threatened by other person/s
    - There are reasonable grounds to suspect that a child or minor is being current abused, threatened, or may be in danger (does not include mentions of past abuse without implications for current danger)
    - If any of these circumstances become apparent, the moderators will report to ARCH and the appropriate authorities.

    Learn more about ARCH’s confidentiality policy HERE.

  • Respect fellow group members.
    ARCH is proud to support a diverse community, and our peer support programming is no different. We expect all group members to listen and value each others’ experiences equally. We welcome participants of all ages, genders, orientations, ethnic/cultural identities, and we do not require documentation or “proof” of trans-ness or non-cis identities in order to receive support. We accept each other’s stories without judgment. Please refer to ARCH’s norms of respect for more information HERE.
      
  • Listen to the peer worker moderators.
    Our moderators are trained peers who have been generous with their time and compassion to support these programs, especially as they have had to adjust to suit our current needs. They have been taken on for this program because they care deeply about supporting your wellbeing and the wellbeing of our shared communities. They are responsible for the safety and success of each group chat, and they must be treated with respect at all times. If a moderator asks you to be mindful of triggering language, please accept their feedback and do not take it as a personal attack.
      
  • Be mindful of triggers.
    We are here to promote best practices, self care, and the safety of all in our communities. You can certainly share what you struggle with, but it’s important to understand that we are not a therapeutic or crisis service, nor are we medical professionals that can prescribe or provide medical advice – we are here to explore and support one another. Individuals can share their experiences and struggles with dysphoria, but are asked to be mindful of how this impacts others. Additionally, when discussing strategies for soothing dysphoria, we will focus on healthy and best practices (such as using binders in a bodysafe way, using prosthetics that are body safe, etc) as opposed to more dangerous approaches (using ace bandages, anything involving self harm, using “black market” hormones). If you are unsure if a topic is safe to bring up, please ask a moderator first.

  • No personal information should be shared on the chat.
    - No contact info (phone, email, social media profiles) can be shared
    - You may share your first name, but not your last name
    - You can mention what city you live in, but not an address or nearby intersection
    - You can discuss the type of work you do or classes you take, but not the particular company, store, school, or location
  • Be mindful of other people’s experiences. We do not make assumptions about other group members, as we have no idea where they are in their gender journey or what they may have found helpful/harmful in the past. When talking about various resources and  service providers (including surgeons for gender affirming procedures), please remember that:

    - Some have had negative experiences at certain places or with certain service providers; and may have varying opinions about the validity, effectiveness, or quality of certain procedures.
    You may express these feelings, but do not “bash” certain procedures or avenues or care. Every type (or no type) of medical intervention is valid. Someone else may require a certain procedure for their health that you have have dissimilar feelings about, and vice-versa. We are all on our own path, we ask that participants respect this.

    - Do not assume that everyone in the chat has had the same experience as you.
    Our chat participants are in all stages of their gender journey and transition (whether social, medical, or both). Some may have had all the interventions they need, others are just starting to explore their identity. This chat may be the first, and only, resource an individual has tried, and we need to foster an inclusive environment that supports and respects every experience.

    - Participation is voluntary in all ARCH programs.
    There is no obligation to talk; participants can say as much or as little as they like, and you can always choose to step back and observe.


Terms of Service
We request everyone read and understand our guidelines in their entirety. Before you share your thoughts and feelings in our trans group chats, you must understand that ARCH peer workers and staff read all of the content contributed to keep the group space supportive and safer for everyone. Should either have a concern about any content contributed, they will:

  • Contact the appropriate ARCH staff members to alert them of the incident,
  • Contact the individual responsible for the content,
  • Ensure that the appropriate people are put into contact with the individual(s)

If you are in crisis we strongly recommend you connect with a crisis line such as the ones listed above, your doctor, therapist or a hospital immediately. Please note that Online Peer Support is not a crisis service. If you find you are struggling and require immediate help, please contact the following services that best reflect your needs:

  • support [at] archguelph.ca (ARCH Support )- for ARCH-related support needs, including mental health support
      
  • If you are in crisis or in need of mental health support, contact your local emergency services or call:
    Trans LifeLine: 877-565-8860
    LGBT Youthline - offers phone, text, or web-based peer support for 2SLGBTQ+ people in Ontario: 1-800-268-9688
    HERE 24/7 for addictions mental health, & crisis services: 1-844-437-3247
        
        

Take care of yourself and one another during these times:

  • Connect with community. A lot of local trans folks access the Gender Intersect Facebook page to post information, questions, links, and provide support. We will be checking it regularly during this time - come and join the conversation!
       
  • Be sure to reach out to friends, family (however you define it), and loved ones during this time.
    It's always important to stay connected, but especially in these times of social isolation. You can still stay in touch over social media or other means of online communication - whatever makes sense for you, just be sure to stay connected and get the support you need!
        
  • Set healthy boundaries around social media, screen time, and following the news.
    It's important to stay informed, but be sure to get outside, feel the sun, and take care of yourself beyond spending hours reading the news and social media posts. Your mental health and physical health are connected, and taking care of both will help your immune system and resiliency during this time.
     
  • Be sure to exercise, mix up your days, and keep yourself entertained.
    There are still ways to be active during home isolation! Try to keep moving your body and stimulating your brain however you like to do so. Look up instructional videos - do some yoga, exercise, learn some new dance moves or skills - whatever you're into, just try to keep your body and mind active.
     
  • Follow hygiene and infection prevention practices.
    - Wash your hands and wipe down surfaces regularly
    - Refrain from touching your face
    - Limit your contact with others
    - Do your best to take care of your health. Especially if you smoke, have any respiratory issues, or if your immune system is compromised is any way

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ARCH Clinic offers hormonal treatment options for those looking for medical support through transitioning.  Patients can self-refer or be referred to ARCH by a health care provider. ARCH Clinic operates within an informed consent model meaning that psychiatric evaluations are not necessary for individuals to begin hormonal treatment. Patients begin with a detailed intake appointment with our nurse, where hormonal treatment information is discussed.Patients return after a minimum of two weeks with a signed consent form, to their first appointment with the doctor to discuss their treatment options.

ARCH Clinic offer preventative healthcare that includes annual physicals, immunizations, testing and screening is available. We also offer treatment and monitoring of temporary and chronic health issues for Transgender individuals.

 

 

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