Our Approach

Head & Hands provides a number of social, medical, and legal services. Our approach to youth health and empowerment is guided by the following principles:

Harm-reduction: Harm reduction is an approach to public health that aims to provide people with the information, support, and supplies they need to reduce the harm that could be caused by engaging in risky behavior. For us, harm reduction is about meeting youth where they are at and supporting them in making healthier choices.  Sometimes that means just listening to a client, and sometimes that means providing information or safer-sex gear. We recognize that a solution that works for one person may not work for another, and that youth make decisions based on many complex factors in their lives. We encourage client autonomy and dignity at all times. Whether a youth is looking for support with their homework, needs accompaniment to an abortion, is seeking information on safer drug use, or wants to connect with other youth or young parents, we are committed to finding solutions that work.

Non-judgment: We believe that individuals are best suited to make decisions about their lives, and fundamentally respect our clients’ choices. We remain open and receptive no matter the situation, without making moral judgments.

Education: From our Sense Project peer-based sex-ed program to our Know Your Rights legal workshops, we are committed to providing youth with tools to help them make informed, empowered, and healthy decisions. Check out our Downloads page to access our zines and pamphlets, or our Community Workshops page to find out more about what we offer!

Holistic care: We see youth as complex individuals, and actively work to promote their holistic physical, mental and social well-being. We benefit from a diverse team that is able to work together to support each client. For example, a youth could come into our medical clinic but also be struggling with a food security or legal issue. In this case, we could meet not only the youth’s medical needs, but also provide them with a food basket or an appointment with our Legal Coordinator.

Confidentiality: All Head & Hands services and information about those who access them are confidential.