For immediate release
From 12-16 February, Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights (Action Canada) is proud to host Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Week (SRH Week), an annual nation-wide campaign that promotes sexual and reproductive health in Canada. This year’s theme is Mind your “Business” and focuses on the intersections between mental health and sexual health.
While campaigns around de-stigmatizing sexual health or mental health are on the rise, these rarely address how they intersect. This year’s SRH Week campaign was created in consultation with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) and aims to raise awareness on the many links that are often left out.
For this year’s campaign, Montreal artist Edith Boucher designed a poster, which is free to order on the SRH Week website. More than 4,000 posters have already been mailed out to healthcare providers, public health agencies, schools and non-for-profit organizations across every province and territory in Canada.
SRH Week will launch with a blog from Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam on the stigma around sexually transmitted infections and its impact on mental health. Other features include a podcast discussing mental and sexual health with a registered nurse and a health care advocate, a Public Health Agency of Canada webinar for health care providers, a series of blogposts written by community-based organizations and advocates, local events across the country, and a printable handbook for healthcare professionals looking to provide stigma-free mental and sexual health care.
“The handbook includes information and tips for healthcare providers on how to talk about sexual health and mental health with their patients,” says Prasad, Executive Director for Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights. “Stigma, shame, embarrassment, and fear often prevent patients from talking about their mental health and their sexual health, let alone both.”
The guidebook provides communication tips to help healthcare providers foster trust and openness so that their patients/clients can feel comfortable talking about issues related to their mental and sexual health.
“Everyone is entitled to positive and affirming health care that routinely and proactively meets their mental health and sexual health needs and all the ways in which they connect,” adds Prasad “This is one way we can help fill the gap in access to positive and affirming health care.”
To learn more about Sexual and Reproductive Awareness Week, the connections between sexual health and mental health, and to order free posters, visit www.srhweek.ca
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