Community sexual health education program
We have a well-established and well respected comprehensive sexual health education program which offers sexual health education programming to schools, as well as workshops for community groups, parents, and other community members in the Greater Victoria area. In the 2018/2019 year, we facilitated education to 18, 590 participants in 808 workshops in the Greater Victoria area.
**ISHS fully support the SOGI inclusive education initiatives as outlined by the BC Ministry of Education and ground all of our education in gender and orientation diverse approaches. Please see our position statement on SOGI education for more information.**
To find out more information about or to book sexual health workshops,
- Contact our offices 250-592-3479 x204
- Email our education coordinator, Jennifer Gibson
Due to the demand for our workshops, we generally book 10-12 weeks in advance for workshops. Timelines do fluctuate depending on time of year so please contact us for specific information if you require a date sooner as we may be able to accommodate your request.
We believe in taking a preventative and positive approach to sexuality and sexual health. Our comprehensive workshops support health literacy and healthy decision-making for participants of all ages, genders, orientations, backgrounds, and beliefs and values.
We are the only organization in Victoria able to offer subsequent clinical support (Personalized one to one education; Contraception; STI testing, treatment and support; Pregnancy Testing, Supported Sexual Health Exams) to participants who need it following a workshop.
About our workshops
To support all participants with access to current and factual information with the intention to promote positive sexuality and choices and to prevent negative outcomes such as unintentional pregnancies, pregnancies, exposure to sexually transmitted infections and sexual exploitation. All programming is designed to be interactive and participant centred.
We work closely with other agencies such as:
- Project Respect, from the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre
- AIDS Vancouver Island, to promote inclusive and comprehensive sexual health education for youth and the community
Sexual health education workshops for all ages
We offer a variety of workshops to meet the needs and interests of specific groups based on subject matter, age level, and time available.
Child sexual health education topics include:
- Bodies, Birth, and Babies
- Changing Bodies, Changing Minds
- The 5 w’s of The P word – puberty
- Healthy relationships and friendships
- Building self-esteem
- Sexual health overview
- Keeping bodies safe and healthy
Sex education for teenagers and young adults can include topics such as:
- birth control options
- sexually transmitted infections (STIs/STDs)
- sexual decision making
- healthy relationships
- Pregnancy (using the “empathy belly”)
ISHS is proud to deliver comprehensive sexual health training for youth in peerhelping and leadership classes and other community groups. Training is delivered over 9 hours and includes detailed information on contraception, sexually transmitted infection risk reduction, healthy relationships, decision making, community resources and what to expect during a sexual health exam. Through the generous support of The United Way and Direct Access, we are able to offer this training free of charge to a limited number of schools and groups.
The Approachable and Knowledgeable Adult workshop can be tailored to meet the needs of specific age groups (Pre-school through Adolescence) and includes the following information:
- The stages of childhood sexual development & what children should know at each stage
- Teaching tips and specific examples of ways to explain bodies & body processes
- Strategies for answering the tough questions children ask
- Tips for incorporating family values, beliefs, religion, and culture into sexuality education
- Resources for parents to review and information to take home
See also our tips for parents talking to kids about sexual health.
Jennifer Gibson (MA) is the Coordinator of Community Education Services with ISHS. Jennifer began working with ISH in 2003 and is most commonly referred to as “The Sex Lady” by youth participants, Jennifer believes in making sexual health education relevant, accessible, and fun for all participants. She also believes that effective sexual health education combines factual information with humour and popular culture. Jennifer is passionate about creating space for every person to become comfortable with and knowledgeable about themselves and sexuality. Jennifer’s current focus is on grades 8-University, professional development, parent/youth ally education and youth ambassador training.
Nick Sandor (BSW, MA) is both the program developer and facilitator of Man Made. Nick began working with Island Sexual Health in 2016, where his focus is on middle school, masculinity and relationship education. Nick’s professional and academic background is in social work, youth support work, and education. Nick facilitates the innovative Man Made education program for male idenitifed participants to explore constructs of identity, masculinity, and relationships.
Nick is passionate about exploring education as an opportunity to encourage gender affirming practices through developing the skills required for wellness and community building. He believes that providing opportunities for people to share their stories and experiences is essential for fostering healthy relationships and self-expression.
Meriah Drabkin (BSc) joined our education team as a volunteer clinic based educator in 2017. She currently works as our maturation educator for students in grades 4 and 5 facilitating all of the good things about growing up and puberty.
Feedback on ISH Education
“Jennifer is open, has a great sense of humour, and has a lot of information to offer.” Parent, Hillcrest Elementary
“You made this really awkward subject be not so awkward. Thanks so much!!!!” – Grade 8 participant
“Thank you for teaching my class. This was the best talk I have ever had in school”-Grade 10 participant
“Thanks for teaching me how to be more safe. This has been the most I have enjoyed this class all year. P.S. Don’t tell the teacher! – Grade 11 participant
“Thank you. It’s always a joy to see you and learn new things about sexual health. I’ve learned a lot of useful information from your groups. My body’s my temple. -Youth participant, employment skills group.
“Thanks again for the outstanding presentation – you certainly had the student’s attention for the entire presentation and created an atmosphere where students felt comfortable and supported”- Instructor, Camosun College
You can reach Jennifer @ 250-592-3479×204 or through email