Women’s Health Initiatives in Canada

womens health womens college hospital

Despite accounting for 50% of the population, women’s health has been highly neglected for decades if not centuries. Research towards women’s health only started in the 1990s and only 8% of research funding currently goes to women’s health. This week on our Instagram Live at 5, we hosted Sara Byrnell from Women’s College Hospital to discuss their mental and physical health services and resources for women.


What is the background of women’s health in Canada?

Women’s health was first recognized by Emily Stowe, Canada’s first female doctor who founded Women’s College Hospital in 1883. With a team of female volunteers, Dr. Stowe was able to establish Women’s College Hospital to help women with their healthcare needs. The hospital now provides various resources and services for women’s mental and physical health.


What are some initiatives Women’s College Hospital has around women’s health?

With the lack of resources for women’s health, many women find themselves Googling health-related issues to find solutions. However, Women’s College Hospital has a vast range of resources women can take advantage of!

  1. Mental health:

Women’s mental health has been challenged as there’s a heavy burden of homeschooling kids, childcare at home and managing home responsibilities. According to Sara, referrals Women’s College Hospital get for mental health services increased from 50 to 300 a month. To help these women, Women’s College Hospital is providing a point of entry to their vast resources with a quiz that creates a profile and directs the resource seeker to the specific resources they need.

  1. Long-term care homes:

To help residents of long-term care homes during the pandemic, Women’s College Hospital Created a virtual community for homecare providers. This virtual community allows homecare providers to reach the hospital’s resources in an app.

  1. COVID relief:

If you’re feeling lost about what type of health service you need when you are feeling any mental or physical symptoms, you can check the Women’s College Hospital website and find resources to help you navigate your needs. For people who are experiencing COVID and don’t have a doctor, they also provide a virtual nursing service that allows you to get COVID care at home without going to a hospital. They also provide COVID vaccinations and have administered 100,000 doses so far!

  1. Gender transition:

The LGBTQ+ community has been left behind at accessing resources and Women’s College Hospital is here to provide health resources to transwomen. As the only publicly funded Ontario hospital that provides transition-related surgeries for transwomen, they receive high demand and have 3000+ surgeries waiting to be performed.

  1. Partnerships:

In addition to providing these services, Women’s College Hospital is also forming partnerships across Canada to improve access to their resources. The hospital is going to announce a partnership in fall with two hospitals in BC and Alberta to create a Women’s Health Collective. By forming this collective they are aiming to collaborate and share their knowledge and resource to help more women in Canada.


Become a Supporter of Women’s Health!

Just like Emily Stowe, you can make an impact on women’s health by giving your time and money to this important pillar in women’s health.  You can also partner with them to host information sessions like this. To learn more about how you can partner with women’s health please contact Sara or checkout out the ways to give here.


Our takeaway:

By taking care of women, Women’s College Hospital uplifts the community. Health is after all an essential component of wealth.


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