Archive for the ‘Health Services’ Category

#TBT: MTL’s First Trans* Rights March

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Today on the blog, we’re looking back to August 10, when almost 400 members and allies of Montreal’s trans* community took to the streets to demonstrate our strength as a community and call upon the Quebec government to follow through on its commitments towards respecting trans* rights.  This powerful event was  organized by the collectif Participes, a recently-formed group of dedicated, creative, and inspiring trans* youth!

Last year, the government passed a law promising to alleviate the discriminatory barriers faced by trans* people who want to legally register their gender.  Almost a year later,  all clauses of this law have been put into action except the ones dealing with trans* rights.  Meanwhile, social and institutional discrimination against trans* people – from barriers to accessing hormone therapy to ongoing violence – remain widespread.  This article provides a more detailed overview of the many reasons we all gathered to march last month.

Here at Head & Hands, we were thrilled to participate in this historic action as part of our ongoing work to support trans* rights.  Did you know that 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? We also provide extensive free counseling to trans* youth and their families, and incorporate trans*-positivity into our sexual health education workshops through the Sense project!

Also!  Did you know that Head & Hands’ health services receive no government funding??  We rely on individual and community support to keep these services going, and we’re mobilizing this month to gather donations as part of our Ca Marche campaign!  If you’d like to join us and dance 7km through downtown Montreal on September 27th,  follow THIS link.  And of course, you can sponsor us directly by following THIS one!

Finally, some more rad pics from the day of the march…!

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Diaphragms are back, and better than ever!

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Health services coordinator Jos shows the Caya diaphragm and spermicide!

Jos with Caya and contragel

As part two in our series about barrier contraceptives (see our March post about the Femcap), we’re excited to announce that Head & Hands is now distributing the CAYA diaphragm! The CAYA diaphragm has recently been approved for sale in Canada, so if you`re looking for hormone-free and user controlled birth control, check it out!

When used in conjunction with contragel (aka Cayagel), the CAYA diaphragm works as a mechanical barrier to block sperm from entering the cervix during vaginal intercourse. As with any barrier device, its effectiveness depends on how dedicated you are to using it properly. When used correctly, the CAYA diaphragm is as effective at preventing pregnancies as condoms. Unlike older diaphragm models, you don’t need to be fitted by a doctor because one size fits most users. It’s also made out of durable silicone and can be used for two years.

Caya Diaphragm!

Caya Diaphragm!

Interested? You can purchase a CAYA diaphragm (sold at cost) from Head & Hands for $50. Tubes of contragel are available as well for 20$. Check out the CAYA website for more info and insertion videos.

To purchase a diaphragm from us or for more info, contact our Health Services Coordinator, Jos, at (514) 481-0277 or health@headandhands.ca. You can also just swing by our office at 5833 Sherbrooke West! Not in Montreal? Don’t worry, you can order the CAYA online via Anarres Health (they are also the Canadian distributor for the Femcap)!

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.

Centraide honours Dr. T for outstanding Citizen Engagement

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Winner Dr. Tellier, surrounded by Head & Hands staff, stand in  clinic waiting room.

Dr. Tellier with his gorgeous award and some very excited Head & Hands staff members

This April, we headed to the Montreal Science Centre to celebrate our very own Dr. Tellier, winner of Centraide’s prestigious Citizen Engagement Award! Centraide presented Dr. T with a beautiful trophy, and Head & Hands with a $10, 000 cheque. And they made a totally awesome video about Head & Hands and Dr. T!

For those of you who know Dr. T, this award likely doesn’t come as a surprise. For over 30 years, Dr. T has tirelessly provided front-line health services to Montreal’s most marginalized young people, both at Head & Hands, and, on a few occasions, in the streets, bars, and raves of Montreal’s Gay Village.  We estimate that Dr. T has treated more than 20, 000 youth in our clinic over the years.

Internationally renowned as a champion of LGBTQ and youth health, Dr. T has mentored countless medical residents, and has presented at numerous conferences on his non-judgemental, harm-reductive, and inclusive approach to medicine.

 

Congrats, Dr. T!

 

Why I commit: Dr. Sam Freeman

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Dr. Sam Freeman

“Head & Hands is the only organization of its kind in Montreal. Health is about so much more than what goes on in the clinic or hospital. Head & Hands gets that.” – Dr. Sam Freeman

Dr. Freeman signed up as a monthly in 2011, when he was still a medical student at the Université de Montréal. Today, Dr. Freeman is in the midst of his first year of a pediatrics residency at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, yet somehow finds the time to maintain his passion for soccer, the taste of home-grown Quebec Maple Syrup, and that new Arcade Fire album. We are also excited to announce that Dr. Freeman will be working and learning in the Head & Hands medical clinic in one of his upcoming rotations, and we can’t wait to show him around!

Monthly donor since: April 2011

I fill my days with: Work; playing, watching and reading about soccer; sitting in my neighbourhood café; watching whatever TV show I’m hooked on. 

As a teenager I was: Pretty excited to become an adult.

Top three things you’d want to have with you on a desert island: Good shoes, a knife (!), and a very long novel.

Song I have stuck in my head right now: It alternates between XO by Beyoncé and Afterlife by Arcade Fire

I can’t live without: A can of my uncle’s Quebec maple syrup in the fridge.

My advice for youth today: Try to do things without worrying about whether or not you’re good at them.

Want to be like Dr. Freeman and become a monthly donor before the end of our March monthly donor drive on March 31st? Visit our Monthly giving page, or give Juniper a call at 514-481-0277!

Hormone free birth control: allow me to introduce the “FemCap”

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by Jos, Health Services Coordinator

Femcap

As the Health Services Coordinator here at Head & Hands, I regularly get asked in my job, “Are there alternatives to hormonal birth control? I just don’t like how I feel on the pill.” Hormonal birth control works great for some, but it isn’t for everybody. It can be costly, cause side effects, and has to be prescribed by a doctor. Non-hormonal methods are out there, but sometimes we just don’t know where to look. So today, allow me to introduce one non-hormonal method: the Femcap!

The FemCap is a fabulous barrier method that we think more people should know about. It’s a variation on the cervical cap, but it doesn’t have to be fitted by a doctor and you don’t need a prescription! It’s a silicone barrier that you insert over the cervix before having sex. It’s reusable, latex-free, has no side effects, can be used with or without spermicide, and is controlled by you! It costs about a hundred bucks (you’ll need access to a credit card to order it online). Read more about it at www.femcap.com or give me a call at 514-481-0277 and we can talk about it and your other options!

You can order the FemCap in Canada via these websites:

http://ladytobaby.com/show.php?item=1 (ships from the US)

http://www.anarreshealth.ca/node/449 (ships from Canada)

Give the Gift!!

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Did you know that since street work re-launched in October, demand for our emergency food pantry has more than doubled? The need for our medical, legal, and social services is growing, and so we put on our thinking caps to increase financial support this winter. Allow us to introduce our new fundraising campaign, Give the Gift!

When you donate online through Give the Gift, you’ll receive a package of custom-designed cards, ready to print at home and give to friends and family on behalf of each donation. Give the Gift was made possible thanks to two talented local Head & Hands supporters: web programmer, Danielle Bakhazi, and youth artist, J’VLYN.

No matter the occasion, we’ve got you covered in English and French, with cards for celebrating gratitude, birthdays, anniversaries, congratulatory moments, incredible friendships, a new life, or just because! 

Give the Gift cards are perfect for the person who says they don’t need anything, who doesn’t want more stuff, who wishes they had more time to volunteer, who believes in buying local, who believes in homemade gifts, who believes in ethical giving, who you have no idea what to buy, for the person who loves Head & Hands, and for the person that you love. 

No matter who is on the receiving end, they can’t deny the wicked awesome goodness that comes from a donation being made in one’s honour to support youth in our community.

Okay, so we’ve explained why it’s amazing. But how does it WORK?!

1. Go to our Give the Gift page by clicking here

2. Decide how much you want to donate via your credit card or PayPal account

3. Receive a PDF file with a ton of beautiful cards

4. Pick the card you like

5. Print the card you like

6. Personalize it and send it!

7. Enjoy being the best gift giver ever.

It’s easy and fabulous.

Have any questions? No problem! Call Juniper or Jen at 514-481-0277!

Ça Marche Reaches for the Moon and Falls Amongst some Superstars

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Well, folks, we did it! Not only have we reached our $25,000 goal for Ça Marche, but we surpassed it! You have all helped us raise just over $26,000 for our health services! We thank you all so much for supporting our Sense Project, medical clinics, and Street Work program as well as joining us for a super fun day. If you weren’t able to participate this year or are in withdrawal of Ça Marche sparkle magic, enjoy this video as it will hopefully tide you over until next year. We can’t wait! Much love.

Ca Marche: THANK YOU DANCE!

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HEAD & HANDS SENDS YOU LOVING DANCE MOVES AND THANKS AND SPARKLES AND ONE MASSIVE YAHOOOOOOOO!

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WOW! We wish there was a word that meant thank you times a million because we are so filled with gratitude and love for all of you for contributing to the great success of this year’s Ça Marche! Thank you to the Farha Foundation, our staff, board members, volunteers, dancers, walkers, donors, and support system for making 2013 a record-breaking year for this incredible event!

At this point, $23,000 has been raised and money is still coming in! We’ll be sure to keep you posted on the total amount but we have a tickling feeling that we’ll be celebrating a $25,000 result very soon! We’ve been overwhelmed (in the bestest way) with the amount of people who wanted to help support health services for youth! Every donation counts toward supporting our medical clinics, peer sex-ed Sense Project, and the re-launch of our Street Work program. You have all helped us celebrate Montreal’s youth and the lives of all those affected in some way by HIV/AIDS.

This past Sunday’s weather was nothing short of perfect with the sun shining brightly which allowed for some seriously hot spandex and incredible outfits. Our team dressed up to the nines and strutted their sexy selves to DJ Nothing Beats a BJ and Claire’s amazing dance choreography.

It was a total blast of a day and we can’t wait until next year. Stay tuned via our Facebook for photos from Angie and video footage from Jess & Carol!

Ça Marche: You’re Invited!

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September is Ça Marche month on the blog! Let’s come together for the Farha Foundation’s walk on September 29th, and raise money for our HIV prevention, education, and support services for youth. Join our team, make a donation, or come out and shake your thang to help us raise $25,000 for a great cause!  

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We’re so close to one of our favourite days of the year! Ça Marche 2013 takes place THIS Sunday, September 29th and we would love to see you there!

Who: Head & Hands, The Farha Foundation & YOU!

What: A 7km HIV/AIDS walk (which we DANCE) that supports health services for youth and for people who are affected by or living with HIV. Head & Hands is raising funds for our medical clinics, street work program, and the Sense Project, our peer-based sex-ed program.

Where: Parc Émilie-Gamelin (Ste-Catherine Est & St-Hubert)

When: We gather to learn the choreography, celebrate, have some warm drinks and a bite to eat on Sunday, Sept. 29th at 9am and begin the parade at 10am.

Why: We participate because we know how important health services are to youth and we dance because we believe in celebrating the lives of those living with HIV, the lives of those we have lost, and the joys of working with youth. It is also a really fun day where everyone can be their unique perfect selves and we can join forces with other organizations around Montreal that believe in similar causes and share the love alongside us.

How: Join our team, donate, or come with whoever else you’d like and dance or walk with us!! You don’t need to donate to celebrate the day with us. The more, the merrier!

RSVP: “Attend” our Facebook event, contact us, or just show up on Sunday morning!

Notes: Costumes, sparkles, and spandex are not mandatory, but super-fun to have. Dress however you like and bring your pizzazz!

For more info, contact Fundraising and Development Coordinator Juniper or Special Events and Fundraising Assistant Jennifer at 514-481-0277!