Archive for the ‘Health Services’ Category

PARCours: We’re in the Home Stretch!

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Our HIV / AIDS Fundraiser, PARCours is happening sooooo soon- we have 5 (F-I-V-E, omg) days left until the big day on Sunday October 2nd and we are in crunch time!

So far, we have raised $5,215 of our $25,000 goal, and we super need *your* help to make our Health Services dreams and care a reality!

All funds raised will go towards: 
– Our Street Work program (harm-reduction based tools and support for street-involved youth and drug users of all ages)
– Our Sense Project peer-lead sex ed program
– Our Medical Clinic – open to all youth regardless of status, and the only informed-consent Trans health program for youth in Montreal.

There are SO many ways to support us in our fight to continue providing quality, non-judgemental care to youth and drug-users of all ages:

1. Register as a participant or as a team and ask family, coworkers, (ex)professors, friends to sponsor you

2. Donate fund$ / encourage others to donate

3. Host a creative third party fundraiser

*Like*: having a (by)donation jar to pass around at our next event or social gathering, and letting people know what great things their money is doing! More ideas and cute puppies this way

4. Let everyone know
– Share the Head & Hands CanadaHelps page, and PARCours facebook event and website on your social media with a personal message of why you are supporting
– Go analog – talk to and follow-up with family & friends offline******************************************************


If you care about supporting youth, do the thing(s)!
If you care about HIV / AIDS prevention and resources, do the thing(s)!
If you recognize consent, safer sex, and harm reduction as SO Vital, do the thing(s)!
If you favourite colour is BLUE, (or yellow, or ….) donate and share(!)

We need your support and appreciate you so much!
If you would consider being involved in 1 or all 4 of these ways in helping support our crucial Health Services, the Head & Hands team and all the youth and people who access direct care and support from them would be so grateful. Every bit has a huge impact.

Thanks so much and see you at the Girouard Park chalet at 12pm on Sunday!

PARCours: incredible fundraising incentives!

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With PARCours only 19(!!) days away, the Head & Hands team is in full swing training– stretching, flexing, picking out our perfect neon outfit ensembles, and of course, reaching out to you – wonderful weberverse!

**We’ve raised $2,530 so far with your support** Let’s keep the momentum going!

This week, we are sharing helpful ideas and tools to support *you* joining the journey with us.

Thinking about becoming a participant but need a boost of PAR-Courage? We’re here for you!

We know that asking close networks of friends and family for money can feel awkward. At the same time, the beauty of peer-to-peer fundraisers is how personal they are. Let your networks know why *you* care about HIV AIDS activism and Hand & Hands’ Health Services – enthusiasm is contagious!

E.g. Do they know that Head & Hands believes in health care for all?
This year, we collaborated closely with Médecins du Monde, a health clinic for people without status: 642 youth accessed our Medical Clinic- including 103 youth without health care, and 53 youth without status. Health care and rapid HIV testing are crucial services that we believe everyone has a right to access – with or without papers.

Ever donor will get a Head &Hands thank you card and newsletter!

Another great tool for getting people excited about supporting you is offering… incredible incentives!
Offering donors perks by amount of money donated, or as they help you reach milestones of your fundraising goal can be great (and fun) motivators.

Here’s a list of amazing incentive ideas from H&H staff to help get you more and more inspired:

  • Writing each donor a poem
  • Sing a song for each donor who donates x amount
  • Tea party or 5-a-7 for donors
  • Donors voting for a new hair colour
  • Donors voting for pieces of your PARCours costume / outfit
  • Dressing up in a cupid costume and handing out condoms at McGill
  • Personal shopping or consulting session
  • Hosting a musical event or workshop
  • Fulfilling your internet celebrity dreams making motivational workout videos at each fundraising milestone

It’s better together! Consider teaming up with others to turn your fabulous fundraising dreams into reality:

  • Busking with friends & coworkers
  • Selling drawings or doing tattoos
  • Selling soap (or other homemade goods!)
  • Getting donations (gift cards, items, etc.) and then raffling them off and donating the money
  • Setting up an “auction” at your next event/party for services

So much amazing content! What emerged that’s key is: tapping into your hobbies, skills, fave activities, and using them to inspire your campaigning!

Check out the personal fundraising pages on our CanadaHelps for further inspiration – search for “Head and Hands” under ‘Find a Team’.

Bubbling with ideas? Sign up as an individual or as a team (teamwork makes the dream work) and write up your own!

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Considering donating? Giving in support of HIV AIDS communities and resources is a gift in and of itself(!), BUT having the golden opportunity to make your friend dress up as cupid and bless the world with condoms is pretty priceless too!

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Want  to JOIN our Parcours team? Sign up HERE!

Want to DONATE to an individual or H&H as a whole? Donate HERE!

Want to HELP / HANG OUT with us on October 2nd? Please do! We are seeking BBQ and Harm Reduction volunteers, AND people to eat snacks with us! Email Cinder at specialprojects@headandhands.ca

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PARCours website
CanadaHelps
Facebook Event (invite your friends!)

Sign up for our super pretty and helpful PARCours mailing list by emailing Richenda at membres@headandhands.ca

PARCours = Solidarity in Motion

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We’re gearing up for PARCours! Our annual HIV/AIDS fall fundraiser is taking a new, exciting neighbourhood-based approach this year and we are so stoked. A roving celebration through the streets of NDG, we’re keeping it local and vocal to raise funds to support Head & Hands’ amazing health services, meet continued needs in our communities, and celebrate how far we’ve come as we look towards the future.
Come join the journey with us!

This year, our goal is to raise $25,000 for our health services! Big numbers can be intimidating, but we know with your support that anything is possible! 
*We’ve raised $215 already*#wevegotthis

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Did you know?
Nearly one-quarter of all new HIV diagnoses in 2013 were in youth.1

HIV disproportionately impacts marginalized youth: The HIV prevalence rate for street-involved and homeless youth is five times the national youth average, while the rates for youth who inject drugs and young Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) are 15 and 20 times higher, respectively.2

Indigenous populations have incidence (new HIV infection) rates 2.7 times higher than people of other ethnicities.3

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At Head & Hands, we believe that our role in the movement to end HIV/AIDS means focusing on honest, youth-tailored methods of reducing risk of infection, holistic resources and support for people living with HIV/AIDS, and fighting stigma and criminalization.
We are committed to meeting youth where they’re at- providing the tools and resources they need to make informed decisions. We know that risk reduction works!

Your donation will go towards our three core health services:

1) Our twice-weekly medical clinics were accessed 785 times last year! Committed to levelling systemic and societal barriers to access to quality health care, our clinic welcomes all clients regardless of status, health insurance, and financial resources, and runs Montreal’s only trans health program for youth using an informed consent intake process.

2) The Sense Project is our peer-based sex-ed program! Reaching nearly 1700 youth last year – the project offers a series of holistic workshops covering topics including STIs, consent, gender identity, sexual orientation, contraception, and more!

3) Our Street Work program distributed 7,875 injection kits, 298 crack pipes, and 14,828 condoms last year! The only program of its kind in NDG, the program provides in-the-streets risk reduction resources and holistic support to youth and drug-users facing discrimination and marginalization.

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Just can’t get enough? Don’t worry, we have SO many more reasons for you to $upport and celebrate in the streets with us!

In the coming weeks, we will be interviewing PARCours-ers and donors to ask why they’re supporting, along with other sweet surprises!

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Want  to JOIN Parcours and danse la danse? Sign up HERE!

Want to DONATE to an individual or H&H as a whole? Donate HERE!

Want to HELP / HANG OUT with us on October 2nd for this fun-omenal fundraising day? Please do! Bonus: there will be BBQ~
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Questions? Wanna volunteer? <3
Get in touch with us: Richenda at membres@headandhands.ca and Cinder at specialprojects@headandhands.ca!

IT’S TIME! (for our Fall Fundraising Fun-omenon): PARCours!

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(I know “Fun-omenon” is a stretch, let me have it).

parcour pitch pt. ii

CLICK ME TO SEE THE FULL POSTER!!

 

Well dear readers it’s time for our annual fall fundraising to benefit our amazing Head & Hands Health Services: Street Work, Medical Services, and the Sense Project!

As you know (because you are a devoted and loving fan) every fall we take part in fundraising for our amazing health services, with a focus on supporting HIV/AIDS communities! This year, organizations from around Montreal and Quebec have an opportunity to come together to not only meet continued needs in our communities, but also work together in a celebration of progress as we look towards the future.

You: “Wait, wait, wait…so what’s happening?” 

I’ll tell you! On October 2nd, 2016, we will be coming together with other incredible organizations for PARCours. This event is all about togetherness and helping one another in our diverse efforts for supporting HIV/AIDS communities!

The event will also be local to Head & Hands!!! We will be walking, dancing, rolling, moving, and celebrating in the streets around Parc Girouard in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, before a fun-filled (hopefully not too cold) park hang!

You: “This sounds so amazing I’m so hype and excited! How can I get involved?” 

There are so many ways that you can support us! I’m so so happy that you want to, thank you so much in your interest!!

  1. You can support us by joining us on our journey. Do you want to join as an individualDo you want to create a team and fundraise with your friends? YOU CAN DO BOTH OF THOSE THINGS!
  2. You can volunteer or come on the day to dance with us or eat!
  3. You can donate to an individual or to Head & Hands as a whole! 

You: “So let’s say I decide to donate. What does my donation even do?” 

Supporting PARCours means supporting Head & Hands’ amazing health services: the free medical clinic, our peer-based sex-ed Sense Project, and our Street Work Program! Last year, we raised $26,000 for our health services, and we can’t wait to reach even higher! We want to continue to meet youth where they’re at and give them the support that they need, but we can’t do it without the amazing relationships we build with our donors!

To find out more about what your gifts make possible, you can read our 2016 Annual Report,.

You: “Quick question… Why ‘PARCours’?” 

In French, parcours is a journey or a path. For us, this year’s event is just that! All different organizations, with all different styles, working towards the same goal and taking the same route along the way. And of course, we’ll be in Parc Girouard!

You: I WANT TO KNOW SO MUCH MORE INFORMATIONS!! 

I KNOW YOU DO, BECAUSE YOU’RE THE BEST!
To know more, you can email Richenda at membres@headandhands.ca, or Cinder at specialprojects@headandhands.ca – we’re here to answer each and every concern!
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5 Reasons to Support Head & Hands’ Ça Marche Campaign!

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ca marche pictures

It’s finally that time to put on your dancing shoes and join Head & Hands (H&H) for Ça Marche 2015. Together we will continue the dancing tradition we began back in 2008. You might ask yourself why you should dance for seven kilometers on a Sunday morning. Well, besides the fact that it’s a wonderful occasion to get in shape with this one of the kind intense cardio workout or that it’s a good way to send off the summer and welcome the fall,  Ça Marche supports our crucial services, which were accessed  almost 30, 000 times last year! Let’s explore some more reasons why you should participate in Ça Marche 2015:

 

1)Our medical services provide youth between the ages of 12-25 the necessary tools to make informed decisions. This past year, our health services were accessed by over 1200 youth, many of whom come to our clinic because lack of health insurance, financial resources, stigma, or discrimination prevent them from accessing services elsewhere. Our approach is non-judgmental, holistic and confidential — welcoming to each and every one of our clients!

 

2)When the rights to a life-saving drug like Daraprim, which is mostly used to treat immunodeficiencies such as AIDS, can be bought by one individual who can single-handedly raise its price from $13.50 to $750 a pill, the presence of NGOs and community organizations becomes that much more relevant. Head & Hands, like other community organizations, fills-in the gap. When you think about how the HIV/AIDS pandemic is still affecting an estimated 20,000 Quebecers, it is even more of a reason to take part in the Farha Foundation’s annual HIV/AIDS walk —  to not only raise awareness, but to help fund programs that are aimed at HIV prevention and harm-reduction like our health services.

 

3)This past year, over 300 people registered for the emergency food pantry — a 46% increase from the previous year!! During times of economic uncertainty, the demand for affordable food increases! Our food pantry is unique in Montreal because you don’t have to show ID or proof of address in order to access it, making it accessible to everyone who needs it!

 

4)The Street Work outreach program is the only one its kind in the bourough of Notre-Dame-De-Grâce (NDG) , and this year we’ve distributed over 6, 000 clean injection kits!

 

5)Our medical clinic runs Montreal’s only trans* health program for youth that uses an intake process based on informed consent, trusting each individual as the expert on their own experience rather than requiring a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria to access hormone therapy.

 

And of course, there are so many more reasons to support us that we didn’t have room to include!

 

Please join us on Sunday, September 27, at le Parterre du Quartier des Spectacles for the Farha Foundation’s annual HIV/AIDS walk, Ça Marche 2015.

 

Thank you for supporting Head & Hands by donating HERE.

 

*French translation coming soon!

Ten Tips for Keeping your Vagina Healthy and Happy!

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The vagina is an amazing sexual and reproductive organ. Most of the time vaginas are really good at taking care of themselves. Sometimes though, harmful bacteria and parasites are introduced into the vagina and its surrounding areas, which can result in unpleasant infections such as yeast, bacterial vaginosis (BV), urinary tract infections (UTIs), and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Here are a few helpful tips to keep your vagina happy and healthy!

Health Services Coordinator Jos with a Happy and Healthy (albeit fabric) Vagina!

Health Services Coordinator Jos with a Happy and Healthy (albeit fabric) Vagina!

1) Wear cotton underwear. Avoid synthetic materials like polyester so your vagina can breathe.

2) Wash your hands. Remember to wash your hands before you insert a tampon or menstrual cup, before masturbating and/or having sex. Ask your partner(s)s to wash their hands before sex too.

3) Avoid getting soap inside your vagina. Soap can upset your vaginal flora, so best to wash your genitalia with just water.

4) Don’t douche. Douches often contain irritating perfumes and can flush out the flora that you need to maintain a healthy vagina. Douching can lead to an infection or help spread an infection farther into the reproductive system, so best to not do it.

5) Wipe from front to back after you pee. There can be harmful bacteria hanging around your bum, don’t bring it forward to your sensitive parts! Use the same logic when it comes to anal sex. If a penis, toy or finger has been in your bum, don’t put it in your vagina afterwards without washing it or putting a new condom on it.

6) Pee after sex. This helps to flush out any bacteria that could have entered the urethra during sex, helping to prevent UTIs. Drinking cranberry juice can help prevent UTIs as well.

7) Eat plain yoghurt! It contains active bacterial culture that is good for your vaginal health and helps to prevent yeast infections. It’s an especially good idea to eat yogurt (ideally without sugar) anytime you’re taking antibiotics because they can make you more prone to yeast infections. If you don’t eat yogurt, you can also get acidophilus in pill form at your local health food store.

8) Use a condom. Penises and shared sex toys can introduce harmful bacterias into the vagina, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea (and other STIs). Be safe, use a condom if you’re having penetrative sex. And make sure to get tested regularly.

9) Never leave a tampon in for longer than 6-8 hours. Leaving a tampon in for too long can result in toxic shock syndrome (TSS), which can be fatal. Avoid sleeping with tampons in. Consider using pads or menstrual cups (like the Keeper or Divacup) instead. Menstrual cups can be left in for up to 12 hours.

10) Get to know your vagina! Look at it with a mirror. Get to know how it looks, smells and tastes. It’s normal for your vagina to have a slight odour and some discharge. Your discharge will change somewhat throughout your menstrual cycle and when you are sexually aroused. While you’re at it, get to know your menstrual cycle too (you can track it on a calendar, or there are lots of free period apps now for smart phones!). Pay attention to what’s normal for you, that way if ever something is out of the ordinary (like increased discharge, a funny smell, itchiness or irritation, pain, bumps/sores/rashes, abnormal bleeding and/or a late period), you’ll know to get it checked out.

Take a few minutes to support trans rights in Québec!

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Trans Rights March

[Image from this past summer’s Trans Rights March in Montreal]

HI FRIENDS! ACTION REQUIRED!

About a year ago, the Québec government brought forward a law with some very exciting promises for trans rights… and we waited a year for the regulations needed to make that law an on-the-ground reality.

Those (proposed) regulations are now here, and… they suck.  They include several requirements that would place trans folks seeking to legally change their name at risk of serious harm.  This is not just disappointing – after so much promise, and such a long wait, it is infuriating.

GOOD NEWS: We can influence the politicians involved to change this regulation!  We can make it better!!  The H&H team has just sent letters to several of the ministers involved, and we’re asking you to do the same.

BONUS: It’s super easy, thanks to some amazing tools created by a collective of awesome trans activists (the same wonderful folks who wrote that analysis of the proposed regulations, linked above)!  Follow these links to download a template letter, as well as a list of contact details for all the government representatives working on this law.

You can send letters by mail or email!  When you do, please shoot a quick message to our friends at the Centre for Gender Advocacy (psa@genderadvocacy.org) to let them know what you’ve done in support of this important campaign.

 

THANKS, COMMUNITY!!!

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Clinic Closure Dates

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Dear clinic patients,
Please note that there will be a 3 week clinic hiatus over the winter break. The last clinic of the year will be held on Thursday, December 11th and then clinics will resume on Tuesday, January 6th 2015. If you need to see the doctor before the new year, make sure to come to the clinic before the holiday closure! Please note that we are a drop-in clinic and we cannot renew prescriptions without a doctor’s visit. For more information about our clinic or to check the calendar, visit our website or call 514 481-0277.
All of our other programs and services will be closed from Monday, December 22nd through January 5th, inclusive.
Cheers,
Jos and Dr. Tellier

 

H&H chats CA MARCHE with Parents at the YPP!

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This week, Head & Hands headed over to the Young Parents Program (YPP) to see what has motivated some of the program’s participants to walk in Ca Marche.

Today at the YPP, parents and kids are in full Ca Marche prep-mode, getting their swag ready for the walk.

For a variety of reasons, the youth we spoke to preferred to keep their identities confidential, but their touching remarks attest to the importance of supporting Head & Hands’ unique youth health services through events like Ca Marche, which raises funds and awareness to support many Montreal groups working on research, prevention, and treatment of HIV/AIDS.

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The parents were asked why they were walking in Ca Marche?, and why they attended Head & Hands’ Young Parents Program?

One parent said that her mother had been living with AIDS for 19 years now, so it was an issue that she has been affected by her whole life. Meanwhile, the YPP has been a sanctuary of sorts for her and many others: “It lets me get out of the house, helps to not be alone. And my kids can hang out with the other English kids, which is more rare at daycare”.

Another participant chimed in: “YPP broke my isolation from Elizabeth House [a private rehabilitation centre for young mothers]. You know, when I was there, I couldn’t talk to anyone. I felt alone. The YPP helped change that, and I’ve been coming since mid-december of last year!”

Another parent was adamant about her show of solidarity: “I know girls who have worked the streets, and have been infected by HIV. I’ve been there myself, and I’m lucky to have come out clean”.

The last parent we talked spoke courageously and with hope, despite fighting to hold back the tears. Someone close to her heart – a sibling – contracted HIV a few years back.

“It’s very taboo. I mean, she lives a normal life. It’s easier in 2014 than it was back then, but it’s hard to know someone you love has it.”

This parent has been affiliated with Head & Hands on and off for a long time. When she became pregnant and was afraid to tell her parents, she came to H&H. We proposed attending YPP, and though at first she was skeptical because she thought it was your average child protection agency, she quickly turned around when she started attending.

“I feel depression, you know. It’s hard getting off the couch sometimes. But it’s energizing for me to come here to the center to get things off my mind, and hang out with the other parents”

By now, she’s so confident that YPP is a great program for youth in her position that she even brought her roommate, who was attending YPP for the first time that day.

Our last parent left us with some uplifting words about why she is dancing in Ca Marche: “I’m going to dance because dancing makes me feel good! You dance to celebrate everything about who you are”.

 

And with those words, we at Head & Hands invite you once more to COME DANCE with us tomorrow at Ca Marche, or DONATE right HERE!

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If you’d like to donate directly to the YPP, please contact Allyson (ypp.pjp@headandhands.ca)

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Painless Pee Tests for Penises

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Do you have a penis? Does getting tested for STIs (sexually transmitted infections) make you nervous? In case you didn’t know, Head & Hands does urine testing (not a urethral swab) for chlamydia and gonorrhea. It’s painless! All you have to do is pee in a cup!

Chlamydia and gonorrhea are two of the most common STIs out there, so if you’ve ever had unprotected oral, anal or vaginal sex you’re at risk. Youth under 25 are especially at risk.

Symptoms for people with penises include burning when you pee, penile and/or anal discharge, itching of the penis and/or testicular pain. But here’s the thing – only 50% of infected people experience these symptoms, so the only way to know for sure is to get tested. Both chlamydia and gonorrhea are easily treated with antibiotics when someone tests positive. Knowing your status can help you protect yourself and your sexual partners. While you’re at it you can also get tested for HIV, syphilis and hepatitis B with a simple blood test.

If you’re between the ages of 12-25, come on down to the medical clinic at Head & Hands and give us a urine sample!

PEE

PEE