It’s Sexual Health Awareness Week! 11th – 17th September

It’s Sexual Health Week this month, with the 11th-17th September focusing on this year’s theme of Playing It Safe. The campaign is organised by the sexual health charity Brook and is aimed at raising awareness of the importance of sexual health and wellbeing in all areas, including contraception options, sexual consent, and healthy relationships, and encourages everyone to be safe through empowerment.

As part of the week, Brook are hosting a Big RSE Lesson, which aims to help young people to understand, recognise, and challenge gender stereotypes. This free 60-minute lesson can be watched LIVE on Wednesday 13th September at 10am or will also be available on demand. It is aimed at students in Year 9 and above and can be incorporated into the PSHE curriculum alongside other resources.

You can register here: Brook’s Big RSE Lesson: Playing it Safe – Learn Live (learnliveuk.com) and further free resources are available at Sexual Health Week 2023 – Playing it Safe (brook.org.uk). #SHW23

Relationships and sex education has been a statutory part of the curriculum since 2020, and good relationships and sexual health education is an essential aspect of supporting health and wellbeing. It keeps young people safe by giving them the tools to think critically, identify and mitigate risk, and the confidence to seek support when they need it. Schools can support pupils by signposting to local services and making these visible to reduce stigma.

In Devon there are sexual health hubs in Exeter, Barnstaple, and Torquay, and Devon Sexual Health provides a wide range of services for all residents of Devon and Torbay, including emergency contraception, condoms, all methods of contraception, STI testing and treatment, help with partner notification, and HIV specialist services including the provision of PEP and PrEP. Information on all the services offered, including weekly drop-in clinics for young people is available here.

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