Sexual Health Youth Strategy
The Waterloo Region Sexual Health Youth Strategy was developed in 2012 by Region of Waterloo Public Health and community agencies with direct instructions to provide sexual health services to youth.
After research, consultation and analysis, several different activities were identified and included in the strategy. These activities together form a community plan to promote healthy sexuality among youth in Waterloo Region.
Waterloo Region Sexual Health Youth Strategy Report - 2012
Who is involved?
The Waterloo Region Sexual Health Youth Strategy Steering Committee oversees the implementation of the strategy and is comprised of representatives from the following agencies:
Promoting healthy sexuality among youth in Waterloo Region: What have we done so far?
Established youth-centred sexual health services in community settings
Two sexual health clinics - specifically for youth - have been opened: one in downtown Kitchener and one in Cambridge.
Youth can visit the clinics and see a Public Health Nurse or Nurse Practitioner for all sexual health-related concerns including:
- Counselling (e.g. advice on healthy relationships)
- Suspected pregnancy
- Birth control (including emergency contraception)
- STI testing
No appointment is necessary and youth do not need a health card to access the clinic.
Region of Waterloo Public Health clinics are LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning) positive.
Clinic locations and times:
Downtown Community Centre
35-B Weber St. West
Teen Drop-in Zone
258 Hespeler Road
Wednesday 3:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Wednesday 3:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Enhancing Sexual Health Services in Waterloo Region Secondary Schools
Waterloo Region District School Board
Public Health Nurses are available at Waterloo Region District School Board secondary schools for one half day each week to provide one-on-one counselling, education, support and resources to students on a range of topics, including abstinence. To learn more about sexual health services offered in schools, see the Enhancing Sexual Health Services in Waterloo Region District School Board Secondary Schools document.
Waterloo Catholic District School Board
Sexual Health Nurses are available to provide curriculum-support to Waterloo Catholic District School Board secondary schools upon request.
Region of Waterloo Public Health continues to work with the Waterloo Region District School Board and the Waterloo Catholic District School Board to enhance sexual health services and/or education in elementary and secondary schools, in keeping with the boards' curriculum and faith perspectives.
Enhancing sexual health education in elementary schools
As a first step towards enhancing sexual health education in elementary schools, we engaged in some advocacy work to encourage the Ministry of Education to expand the health and physical education component of the Ontario curriculum for elementary school students.
In September 2013, a report was presented to the Region of Waterloo Community Services Committee, recommending that the Regional Municipality of Waterloo request the Minister of Education implement the Human Development and Sexual Health component of the 2010 Ontario Grades 1-8 Health and Physical Education Curriculum.
The Ontario Sexual Health Curriculum report, including letters of support from community partners, including the Public and Catholic school boards, can be found here.
Increasing parents' and guardians' knowledge, skills, and confidence for talking with their children about sexual health The Talk from Tots to Teens - a parents' guide for talking with your child about sexual health and well-being - can also be found here.
Coming soon...We are currently working on an initiative to determine the sexual health support needs of parents in Waterloo Region and effective strategies to increase parents' and guardians' knowledge, skills, and confidence for talking with their children about sexual health.
Increasing access to sexual health information through technology
In partnership with youth and community agencies, ACCKWA developed and maintains a youth-friendly, interactive website for sexual health information. Visit: www.doinit.ca
Coming soon... We are currently working on the development of a toolkit to educate youth on how to critically appraise websites and media for sexual health information.
Promoting healthy sexuality among youth in Waterloo Region: What will we be doing?
Collectively, activities completed over the next several years will aim to meet the needs of Waterloo Region youth at any point in their development, in their homes, in their schools and in their communities.
Future activities of the strategy will focus on:
- Advocating that the Ministry of Education expand the current health and family life curriculums in Ontario school boards
- Discussing opportunities to increase sexual health services in private schools in Waterloo Region
- Encouraging health practitioners to discuss healthy sexuality with their young clients, and providing resources and supports where appropriate
- Enhancing existing sexual health education offered to secondary school aged youth
- Increasing sexual health education targeted to males
- Increasing access to sexual health resource materials for students and teachers
- Providing educators and other professionals with training and/or resources to deliver sexual health information to elementary and secondary school aged youth
For more information about the Sexual Health Youth Strategy, please contact the Manager of Sexual Health and Harm Reduction, Region of Waterloo Public Health, 519-575-4400, firstname.lastname@example.org