The Main Functions Of The Sexual Health Centre Are:
Provides training programmes and develops materials for young people, those working with young people and parents in relation to sexual health and drugs.
Provides peer through education and telephone help line services.
Provides personal support and counselling to people with HIV and their families in a safe and welcoming environment.
Provides outreach services to young people who are potentially at risk and who are not in contact with other services.
Provides support and health adviced to those who feel they have been involved in risky activities through open access counselling and help line services.
Participates in national and international meeting and networks in order to develop and maintain models of best practice.
Provides opportunities for community participation in SHC work.
Provides non directive three option pregnancy counselling.
Peer Education is about providing young people with the skills and training to inform their peers on issues that affect them.
Aims Of The Peer Education Project:
The Sexual Health Centre project, which is funded by The Cork Local Drugs Task Force and The Young Peoples Facilities and Services Fund, has developed a Peer Education Programme Project in Cork City based on awareness raising around drugs and sexual health, enabling young people to learn from each other. Peer Education provides young people with an accredited qualification for their work.
The initial 20 hour training programme is designed to inform and examine the participants' knowledge and behaviour around sexual health and drugs. A further accredited training programme includes more in depth training in the process of delivering the new knowledge learned through Peer Education. The Peer Educators are then provided with support and supervision to help them undertake their work. The programme, designed by The Sexual Health Centre, is experiential in nature and is a stepping-stone for young people to enhance their own communication and interpersonal skills. The skills provided within the course are transferable in participants' everyday life. With this in mind it is hoped that young people will gain knowledge and become more assertive and confident in their everyday lives.
What Kind Of Person Is A Peer Educator?
Someone who is between the age of 16 and 21.
Someone who cares about their friends and other young people.
Someone who can interact with others.
Someone who wants to be able to discuss issues around sexual health and drugs in a safe place and have a bit of fun while doing it!
Someone who just wants something different!
Level One Course Outline
The course is run over 6 weeks one session each week but this can be altered depending on the group. The course is experiential which means that the learning is done in groups through exercises etc, not with someone standing at the top of the 'class' teaching. Topics included in the course are listed below.
2. Listening & Communication
7. Sexuality & Pregnancy
8. Sexually Transmitted Infections & Contraception
9. Decision Making
Level Two Course Outline
The course is run over 6 weeks one session over six weeks. The number and lengths of the sessions can be changed to suit the individual group. Level Two requires more reading than Level One but most of the learning is still done in groups and through exercises.
2. Sexual Health & Drugs Information Update.
3. Learning & Listening
4. Boundary Issues
5. Peer Education in Practice
6. Planned visits to relevant agencies
7. Policies & Procedures
8. Communication Skills
Peer Education Network
Once young people have completed Level Two training, they are encouraged to continue their peer education work, and can participate in the Peer Education Network. The Network is a growing group of highly trained young people engaging regularly in structured and informal supported peer education work.
The network meets periodically for planning, evaluating, and training.
Network members are expected to keep in regular contact with the centre.
Network members put forward their ideas for work such as workshops, information stands, publications and events, these ideas are debated and work begins in small groups on bringing feasible ideas to fruition with the support of the Sexual Health Centre staff.
Network members have opportunities to travel to other cities and countries to participate in other programmes such as European conferences etc.
Once peer educators have passed the age of 21 they are encouraged to remain on as volunteers and assist in the training and support of younger peer educators.
Participants certificates usually arrive within two months of completion of the course and can be presented in the Sexual Health Centre or added to an existing award giving ceremony within the local community/school. Attending 90% of the course is required for accreditation.