Throughout 2018 and 2019 Youth Work Ireland worked on the theme of Positive Sexual Health. This topic was chosen from a consensus process with young people and youth workers in 2017, which included regional and national workshops, a survey of over 1,000 young people, an online campaign and finally a vote at our national conference. Our programme of work on Positive Sexual Health includes:
Sex Talk Team
The Sex Talk Team took the lead in the planning and development of the PSH Campaign. There were a group of passionate and active young people who had one clear aim - to change how we as a nation talk about sexual health. The group was formed in January 2019 and their work included a media campaign to seek to change the was sex education is taught in Irish schools. Members of the group have appeared on Ireland AM, Lunchtime Live with Ciara Kelly and have met informally Minister for Education Joe McHugh TD. The also delivered the Youth Conference and Summit on Positive Sexual Health which took place in The Mansion House, Dublin on November 1st.
Positive Sexual Health Conference and Youth Summit
Youth Work Ireland's national conference 2019 took place on Friday November 1st and focused on the issue of sexual health and the rights of young people to inclusive, holistic and accurate sex education and information. The event featured expert speakers, interactive workshops, panel discussion and arts based sessions, and provided a space for young people to have their voices heard on sexual health rigths.
Learning and Sharing Workshops on Positive Sexual Health
In April 2019 we ran 2 workshops for young people and youth workers. These events have people the opportunity to get involved in the Positive Sexual Health Campaign and learn more about consent, staying safe and wellbeing. The events brought over 150 peopel together in Dublin and Limerick to talk about their views on sexual health, consent, and wellbeing. The events were led by the Sex Talk Team.
Talking About Sexual Health - Toolkit for Youth Workers
Opening safe conversation with young people about their sexual health is an important part of a youth worker's role. To ensure youth workers and volunteers are supported to have these conversations with confidence and effectiveness, Youth Work Ireland is adapting a proven tool for supporting good practice in this area. This tool will be developed into an online toolkit and resource for youth workers to facilitate conversations with young people about sexual Health. This resource tool can be downloaded here>>
YES: Youth Empowerment in SRE (Sexual & Reproductive Education)
The YES project is a Europe-wide initiative to provide young people with empowering sexual health & reproductive education in community settings. Collaborating with European Youth Information experts ECYC (European Confederation of Youth Clubs) and LOGO Jugendmanagement (Austria) we will work over the next two years to develop the capacity of youth organisations and provide them with resources to deliver SRE to young people in community settings.
National Survey on Sexual Health Issues
One of the first steps in our Positive Sexual Health campaign was to survey Irish young people aged 14 years and up, about their views, opinions and attitudes towards healthy sexual relationships and consent. We conducted an online survey of over 1300 young people, the findings demonstrated that young people are not turning to their parents or teachers for information about positive and healthy sexual relationships. Instead they are turning to social media, the internet and worryingly, pornography. The survey was published in April 2018 as part of Youth Work Ireland Week and received national media attention
National Youth Consultation on Positive Sexual Health
During Youth Work Ireland Week 2018 we ran a national youth consultation with over 400 young people across 37 youth groups to identify the topics, in relation to Positive Sexual Health they want to learn more about, be heard on and change. The consultation pack guides youth workers though a workshop setting with young people on the issue of positive sexual relationships and health.
National Media Campaign on Positive Sexual Health
Throughout the Positive Sexual Health campaign we have run a sucessful media campaign to promote the work we are doing on Positive Sexual Health and to raise the voices of young people to a national level where they can be both heard and included in the debate on sexual health.
Additional Resources & Guidance