Healthy Sexuality Resource Available for Youth

first_imgSex? — A Healthy Sexuality Resource, is now available to helpyoung Nova Scotians make informed decisions about relationshipsand sex. The 117-page book includes such topics as relationships,decision making, sexual assault, sexually transmitted infectionsand contraception. “The intention of this resource is to provide factual, easy-to-understand information to help youth make safe, healthy choices,”said Health Promotion Minister Rodney MacDonald. “The statisticsclearly told us that we needed to do more to help youth makeinformed decisions.” Sex? — A Healthy Sexuality Resource, was developed by a workinggroup made up of staff of the Office of Health Promotion anddepartments of Health and Education, district Public HealthServices and a plain language writer. Other contributing membersof the working group included youth representatives, MetroPlanned Parenthood and Dalhousie Family Medicine. More than 500 youth were consulted to find out what they wantedand needed to know and to review a draft of the resource. Theresource was also reviewed by parents and teachers in rural andurban areas throughout the province. Bev Mullin is a parent and the president of the Nova ScotiaFederation of Home and School Associations. She said that whileparents are the first and most important resource for youth onmatters of sexuality and sexual health, this resource will help. “As parents, we must take the opportunity to read this book,learn the pressures our children encounter in their everydaylives, and teach them about healthy sexuality,” she said. The resource was also reviewed by national and provincial expertsin the field of sexual health and sex education. “What makes this document unique is the author’s ability tocontinually emphasize the message that all individuals must carefor themselves, must make choices for themselves and besupportive of individual choices,” said Dr. Joan Wenning, apediatric and adolescent gynaecologist from the IWK HealthCentre. “The resource not only provides factual information, italso focuses on the importance of helping young people developgood communication and assertiveness skills which will translateinto healthier relationships.” All the information in the resource is currently availablethrough more than 30 pamphlets and other assorted print materialsused by public health staff. This resource combines all thatinformation in one place, and presents it in a way that isaccessible to youth and in a format that engages them. The resource will be available free to all Nova Scotians aged 12to 17. Public Health Services will work with six of the sevenEnglish school boards to develop individual plans to distributeit to youth in grades 7 to 12, starting in September. Youth whoaren’t able to receive it through schools can get it from PublicHealth Services and their community partners. The Acadian schoolboard will decide on distribution after reviewing a translatedversion. The resource will be available to private and FirstNations schools who wish to assist local Public Health with itsdistribution. Parents will have an opportunity to view the resource at theirlocal library, public health office, their child’s school or onthe Office of Health Promotion’s website. The resource can alsobe purchased through Nova Scotia Government Publications for$12.95 plus tax and shipping. The resource can be found on the Office of Health Promotionwebsite at www.gov.ns.ca/ohp/healthysexuality.html under reportsand publications.last_img

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