Sexual Health Education Service
We provide educational programmes, seminars and workshops tailored to meet the needs of particular groups.
AIDS West employs a Sexual Health Education Co-ordinator to implement its education/information services in the West of Ireland.
We provide educational programmes, seminars and workshops tailored to meet the needs of particular groups. Our programmes focus on providing people with factual information on HIV/STIs and how they are transmitted. These programmes also address attitudes to relationships and sexuality and examine how to make sexual behaviour safer. Programmes are interactive and the knowledge, experience and values of the group are acknowledged in a safe environment.
The course consists of 3 sessions approximately 1.5 hours each which aim to complement the Social Personal and Health Education Curriculum (SPHE). The sessions are run as interactive workshops, where students are facilitated to explore the issues of sexuality and relationships, relevant to their age group.
The aim of AIDS West’s educational programme is to improve the sexual health of young people in Ireland; the objectives of the educational sessions are:
1. To empower young people to build positive and healthy relationships
2. To raise awareness of the negative outcomes of unsafe sexual activity
3. To improve knowledge and inform the students on (a) the human reproductive system (b) the different types of STIs, their transmission and treatments, and (c) the different types of contraceptives.
We do our best to facilitate every school to become involved in our sexual health education programme
‘WISER parenting’ (West of Ireland Sex Education Resource) is a survival workshop for parents of teenagers. The aim of the workshop is to provide information and support to the parents of teenagers on sexual health and pornography use, drugs, legal highs, alcohol and effective communication.
By ensuring that young people have comprehensive sexuality education, age appropriate information and open channels of communication, it is possible to equip them with the knowledge, skills and attitudes they need to make informed choices now and in the future. Evidence shows that young people who have experienced open communication with parents or a caring adult are better prepared to communicate honestly and openly about sexuality, emotions and fears, and are less likely to engage in risky behaviour. Our workshop gives parents guidelines on how to address the various issues that may arise including how to deal with the negative consequences of sexual activity for example unplanned pregnancy and STIs.
Create a supportive environment where parents can learn factual information about drugs, alcohol and sexual health.
Provide parents with an opportunity to consider issues relating to bringing up teenagers.
Present parents with advice on how to enhance communication between themselves and their children.
AIDS West also provide training to:
AIDS West deliver workshops for community workers in Galway, Mayo and Roscommon.
Drugs/Alcohol Education Service
The Drugs and Alcohol Education Co-ordinator has been in position in AIDS West since 2006. This position is funded by the Western Regional Drugs Task Force to highlight the link between drugs, alcohol and sexual health.
The role of the Drugs and Alcohol Education Co-ordinator includes:
• Designing, implementing and evaluating drug education programmes and the implication of these on sexual health.
• Supporting and developing the delivery of drug education and the implications on the sexual health of the relevant target groups, in line with best practice.
• Delivering programmes to parents, young people and communities.
• Enhancing the capacity of professionals in the area of drugs and alcohol education, for example youth workers, teachers,social workers, community development workers, family resource centres etc.
• Developing and supporting a community-wide approach to drug education and its implications on sexual health in Galway city and county.
• Professionals such as social workers, teachers, youth workers, nurses, Gardaí, third level institutions etc.
• Parents programmes through schools, home school liaison offficers (HSLO), community development projects (CDPs), family resource centres (FRCs), communities etc.
• Youth programmes for at-risk young people through youth projects, youthreach centres, adult education centres, traveller projects, peer education projects, student councils etc.
• Community programmes tailored to the needs of specific groups as identified, including women and alcohol conferences, positive well-being conferences, low-literacy level programmes, workplace cocaine and alcohol seminars, etc.
Aims of the Project:
• Design, implement and evaluate drug and alcohol education programmes, demonstrating their link to sexual health.
• Support and develop the delivery of drug education and its link with sexual health to the relevant target groups, in line with best practice such as the SPHE programme.
• Enhance the capacity of professionals in the area of drugs and alcohol education and its link to sexual health e.g. youth workers, teachers, social workers, (CDPs) and (FRCs)
Objectives of the Project:
• To enhance the knowledge, understanding and awareness of drugs and alcohol and their link to sexual health.
• To enhance the skill capacity of professionals.
• To enhance skills such as decision making, assertiveness, and communication skills.
• To challenge attitudes towards tobacco, drugs and alcohol and their link to sexual health.
• To increase the knowledge and ability of groups to link in and access available services.
The organisation plays an important role in the community in terms of the development of training materials relating to sexual health and acts in an advisory capacity in relation to other organisations.
AIDS West in conjunction with NUIG offers work placement to students on the Health Promotion Masters Programme.