Sexual & Reproductive Health Awareness Week: Ready for some pillow talk?

Sexual & Reproductive Health Awareness Week is finally here! This year's theme for SRH Week is "pillow talk"...by which we mean open communication about sexual health.

Being able to talk honestly, accurately, and without shame or judgement about sexuality is key to postive sexual health. Communication is especially important between health care providers and patients. On Feb. 12, our partner Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights launched the SRH2017 handbook for health care providers, Quick Tips for Quality Care. This great new resource gives suggestion for health care providers working with diverse communities on how to provide non-judgmental and stigma-free care.

Right now in Nova Scotia, there's tremendous interest in this issue. Although many people have good relationships with their doctor and are satisfied with the health care they receive, too often we hear reports that sexual health conversations with doctors are awkward, upsetting, or don't happen at all. One reason for this is that health care providers receive little training or guidance on how to talk about sexual health, or how to provide equitable care to marginalized communities. Plenty of well-intentioned health care providers worry about saying or doing the wrong thing for their patients. They want to make their practices more inclusive, but don't know where to start. 

Hopefully, Quick Tips for Quality Care will provide some useful guidance. Staff from SHNS and its member-centres will be introducting the handbook to health care providers and students throughout the spring. (Just as soon as we dig our cars out from the snow!)

In the meantime...we want to hear from you! What does sexual health mean to you? Why is it important? What topics do you wish you could talk about with your health care provider? Write your thoughts on your nearest pillow – or this printable pillow graphic – and send it to us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

Check out the handbook and other SRH Week resources at srhweek.ca. Don't forget to join the #SRH2017 conversation on social media!