Archive for May, 2014

AGM: The Future Is In Your Head & Hands

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With yet another year under our (44 yr. old) belts, we have lot to be thankful for, and a lot to be proud of. We also have a lot to look forward to, and we want you to be a part of every step! We’ve got a ton of awesome events planned for this summer, and it all starts with our Annual General Meeting (AGM), where we will make some important decisions about Head & Hands.

Here’s how the evening will go down:

  1. Staff members will present the amazing work they’ve done throughout the year;
  2. organization management (staffing, finances, etc.) will be discussed;
  3. board candidates will present themselves; and
  4. members will vote on the new Board of Directors.

At this point, you might be asking yourself: “Am I a member of Head&Hands?”

Members can (and should!) attend the AGM and cast their votes.  Clients, volunteers, and donors are all considered members – if you’ve accessed a service, volunteered your time, or donated money in the past year, you are a member.  To attend the AGM, we need to make sure that you’re on the list of members.

To declare your membership:

  • If you were a donor in the past year, you’re already listed as a member. Just show up!
  • If you’ve been a client or volunteer this year, get in touch with the Coordinator of the Head & Hands program you access or volunteered for, by sending an email (listed here: http://headandhands.ca/about-us/staff-board/) or talking to the Coordinator themselves.

AND, because it’s how we do things, the AGM will also be a fun, entertaining evening, complete with delicious free food, and free childcare. That means there’s no reason why you shouldn’t join us in an evening of celebration, Head & Hands style!

This year’s AGM will take place on Wednesday, June 18 from 7 – 9pm at St. Raymond’s Community Centre. Check out the flyer below for more info!

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Dental Dams Demystified

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Dental dams–what have you heard about them? They’re great for oral sex, whether your mouth is heading for a vulva or an anus, and provide a barrier to bodily fluids and skin-to-skin STI transmission. We think everyone should know about them and have the choice to use them!

Estelle, Stagiaire in Sexology from UQAM, says that she wanted to create these how-to videos to make this barrier method more accessible to youth. Despite the fact that dental dams are rarely discussed and even more rarely available, it’s very easy to make one with an external condom! These videos bring a little humor to sex ed, making it a little more pleasant and less stressful.

Through Our Eyes: YPP Vernissage!

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On Friday, May 2nd, Café 92° came alive with people, photography, and performance at the vernissage for Through Our Eyes, a photovoice project led by YPP parents in collaboration with the Atwater Library Digital Literacy Project.

Over the past few months, participants took photographs that captured their lived experiences as parents, as families, and as a community. According to YPP intern Andi, the goal was to “offer people an avenue to represent themselves and their identities through the art of photography.” The folks at the Digital Literacy Project facilitated workshops leading up to the event, like photo-editing, storytelling, and fundraising, to support parents in conceptualizing and implementing the project.

Some of the photographs displayed at the vernissage.

Some of the photographs displayed at the vernissage.

In addition to showcasing the parents’ photography, the event was also a successful fundraiser for family camp this summer, raising over $1,000! At family camp, YPP participants and staff come together for one week to escape the city and the regular stresses of life, and to spend time relaxing with other parents and children in nature. This year will be the third in a row, and parents and staff are hoping to make it a regular part of programming in future years.

A youth performance!

A youth performance.

Childcare educator Marnie & YPP kids!

Childcare educator Marnie & YPP kids.

J2K Coordinator Neil performing poetry
J2K Coordinator Neil doing spoken word.

 

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Meet Sarah!

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All of us at Head & Hands are so excited to welcome Sarah, our new Daytime Office Coordinator! She’s been bringing in the sunshine every morning since early April, welcoming community members and providing information, referrals, and support to youth throughout the day. Alongside her warmth and her excellent instincts, she brings with her experience at some of our favourite Montréal community organizations, including Filles d’action, DESTA, and Face à face. Say hi next time you’re in the neighbourhood!

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Social Counsellor Rhonda talks youth mental health

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Social counsellor Rhonda in her cozy Sherbrooke St. office.

Social counsellor Rhonda in her cozy Sherbrooke St. office.

Accessing affordable, ongoing, and non-judgemental mental health support is notoriously challenging in Montreal, even for youth who are struggling with acute or ongoing mental illness. Head & Hands counselling services aim to fill this gap by offering free individual, couple, and family counselling. In the last year alone, Social Counsellor Rhonda supported 196 clients, in 645 visits.

Here, Rhonda shares a bit about her work!

 H&H: Why do youth come to you for support?

Rhonda: Every client has different needs. Many youth feel like the decisions they make at this point in their lives are very permanent and critical to their life path. They’re dealing with issues of relationships, career, where to live, gender identity, or decisions about how they want to break away from family patterns that they now feel detached from.

Some come in crisis over the end of important, powerful intimate relationships.  Self-identity issues are very common and having a neutral ear to listen and help sort them out can make a big difference. Many youth need a safe, confidential place to talk and explore what these issues really mean to them.

What a privilege to have someone say to me, “I have never, ever told anyone else this deep secret I have but…”  I am very careful to honor that trust.

H&H: What do you find most motivating about working with youth?

Rhonda: I feel very clear about the fact that I can make a difference—not all the time, but often.

I have developed models that really work with the client holistically.  We talk about the food they eat, the physical activity they engage in. I use the Native Medicine Wheel to help us look at the balance in their physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual selves. It is so inspiring to see them have a small epiphany, and say: “Oh, ya…This is so true.  This really makes sense. I can do this.”

Recently, in a couples counseling situation, one the partners said that the biggest learning for her was when I told them they were both personally responsible for their own happiness…that they could support the other partner’s happiness but they each needed to create their own and not expect the other partner to create it for them.  This blew her away.  It turned the relationship around for her.

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