This year, the Pictou County Centre for Sexual Health and the Pictou County Women’s Centre are collaborating with a number of other organizations for several events to promote sexual health.
This month, the Pictou County Centre for Sexual Health will be helping Pictou County Residents help handle trauma, in collaboration with Mapping Our Road To Power (MORPH).
MORPH is a group consisting of the Pictou County Women’s Centre, the Tearmann Society for Abused Women and Family Services of Eastern Nova Scotia.
Those participating groups will be holding a trauma-informed training workshop on Jan. 19, and another workshop relating to sexual violence on Jan 26.
“There’s funding from the provincial government that we’ve received, and we’re putting part of that toward trauma-informed training sessions,” said Vania MacMillan, executive director of the Pictou County Centre for Sexual Health.
MORPH will also be hosting a skill-building program for friends and family of sexual violence survivors, starting on Feb. 1. This will be a series of programs, running from 6-8 p.m., educating people with knowledge and skills to help support partners, children, parents and siblings who have experienced sexual violence.
The Pictou County Centre For Sexual Health is also in support of helping bring justice to those in the LGBTQ community. Although the Pictou County Centre for Sexual Health isn’t directly involved with an Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Prevention Program, it is in support of the Jan. 24 program.
“Although it has nothing to do with us, it’s important the Women’s Centre and the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity put it on,” said MacMillan.
The Pictou Women’s Centre will be collaborating with the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity to promote the Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Prevention Program.
The IPV Prevention program helps LGBTQ agencies by providing tools and information on service and training to help LGBTQ victims of domestic physical assault, sexual assault and emotional abuse get increased access to the criminal justice system.
The Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity works with LGBTQ agencies, law enforcement and other organizations to create best practices to help LGBTQ people access justice through the IPV Prevention program.
The IPV Prevention program trains LGBTQ agencies and organizations that help victims of partner violence, and people who work in the criminal justice system, on how to better support LGBTQ victims of crime.
A pivotal fundraising event for the Pictou County Centre for Sexual Health is in the works, with an anticipated date of Feb. 10. This event is the second annual Valentine’s Day Trivia.
“It’s an adults-only event at Summer Street Industries, with quite a bit of trivia going on. It’s similar to the one that the Kinettes have, but it’s not as serious,” said MacMillan. “We want people to come out and have fun, learn a bit about sexual health, and (we want to) bring awareness to what is involved with being sexually healthy.”
MacMillan said that sexual health “is not the first thing everyone’s mind jumps to all the time,” when thinking about health. Trivia on that subject can help people understand sexual health is deeply connected to other aspects of people’s health.
The trivia event will include silent auctions, and door prizes donated by numerous community organizations.
“We need to own Valentine’s Day,” said MacMillan. “It’s a sexual day – how can we not own Valentine’s Day?”
The Pictou County Centre for Sexual Health will also help to portray a diverse picture of the experiences of those living in the area through Photo Voice, a form of photographic self-expression. MacMillan hopes the Photo Voice project will help people whose voice may not be as loudly heard in the community have their story heard.
“They can do that with photos and an accompanying voice. (Photo Voice) is often a photograph with a caption, or they may just tell the story with only a photo,” said MacMillan. “Sometimes it’s easy to understand someone’s perspective with one photo. When it’s not easy, sometime a caption or a story accompanies the photo.”
This year, Photo Voice sessions will be conducted with a focus on mental health, reaching out to the LGBTQ community, their family and friends.
“This group is basically for LGBTQ people and their supporters,” said MacMillan. “We’re looking to see if we can get at least 10 people interested, and eventually display the final projects, to give community insight into whatever group happens to be doing the projects.”
For more information on any of the upcoming programming contact MORPH at firstname.lastname@example.org or The Pictou County Centre for Sexual Health at email@example.com.