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Transgender clinic opens at Toronto SickKids hospital

File photo of the SickKids hospital atrium. Wikipedia Commons

A new Toronto clinic for transgender youth is seeing its first patients today.

The clinic at the Hospital for Sick Children has officially opened and administrators say it will help fill an important gap in care for teens with gender dysphoria.

Gender dysphoria is diagnosed in people whose gender identity doesn’t match their anatomical sex.

SickKids said gender dysphoria is relatively rare, but increased awareness and acceptance has led more teens to identify as transgender.

It says while there are two mental health clinics that provide the diagnosis in Toronto, the SickKids clinic is the first in the city to focus on medical care for transgender teens.

The hospital says without proper care, transgender teens can experience “negative consequences,” such as mental health issues and risky behaviour.

Patients will work with an interdisciplinary team to ensure they get counselling and in some cases, will receive hormone therapy to prevent the changes associated with puberty, the hospital said.

The team includes physicians specializing in adolescent medicine and endocrinology, a nurse practitioner, a nurse and a social worker as well as children’s mental health organizations.