Friday, December 14, 2012

Our 40th Anniversary Year-in-Review

What a year! The Calgary Sexual Health Centre (CSHC) has celebrated our 40 years of service in style. Every month we held an event, participated in a community collaboration or brought together long-time supporters and new friends to recognize the past and illustrate our community impact today.

Here's a look back at a few of the moments we celebrated with you over the past year!

MISS REPRESENTATION - a documentary film by Jennifer Siebil Newsom
On January 18th, our year-long celebrations kicked off with a screening of the acclaimed film, "Miss Representation" at the Globe Cinema. The film exposes how mainstream media contributes to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America. We were pleased to bring the film to Calgary and engage our audience with a panel discussion following the viewing.

Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Week
Open House
In February, we joined our fellow members of the Canadian Federation of Sexual Health to promote "Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Week". From February 12-18 we focused our social media efforts on raising awareness of important sexual health issues. The week-long initiative is an example of how sex education has evolved over the past four decades, utlizing new technologies and the power of social media in acheiving our aim toward the normalization of sexuality, in all its dimensions.

Open House
On April 18th, we invited the public to take part in our 40th anniversary celebrations as we threw open the doors to our newly expanded office space and library.

We were pleased to welcome to our Open House over 100 people from across the community to help us celebrate the 40 year journey of our work in Calgary.

Annual General Meeting, featuring author Amy Schalet

ED Pam Krause 
with author 
Amy Schalet
We hosted our 2011 AGM on June 14th at the Calgary Winter Club. While the event reflected on the previous year, it was also an important evening for celebrating our anniversary. It was moving to reflect on the challenges and progress that has been made over the past four decades, and to learn about the passionate and innovative work that continues today.

A highlight of the event was of course the keynote presentation by acclaimed author Amy Schalet. Ms. Schalet's book, "Not Under My Roof: Parents, Teens, and the Culture of Sex", examines the regulation of adolescent sexuality in American and Dutch families. Ms. Schalet shared her stories and insights into cultural differences around teen sexuality - and the impact of those differences. The presentation resonated with our staff and guests.

Pride Celebrations
In September we were proud to take part in the Pride festivities in Calgary and celebrate our long history of supporting the LGBT community. Our float in the Pride Parade was a colourful celebration of our 40th anniversary and our strong support of LGBT rights.

40th Anniversary Gala
To celebrate 4 decades - and to look forward to many more - we brought together long-time supporters and new friends for a playful and thought-provoking celebration at Belgo on October 25th. 

The event featured a short program of speeches by some of our founding members, long-time staff and our ED Pam Krause. Our guests were regaled with a look back on how society's views on gender, sexual orientation and reproductive health has shifted over the past 4 decades - and how we have responded.

Rick Mercer's 
"Lil Stevie" woody
Another highlight of the event was our "Paint a Woody" auction. In the months leading up to the Gala, we had invited some "featured artists" to raise their brushes to paint a woody - a wooden demonstration tool we use to teach youth how to properly put on a condom. 

Thanks to blogger 
Mike Morrison
for his great job at MC!
With Woody Artists like Rick Mercer, Sue Johanson, Jon Montgomery, Mike Morrison and W. Brett Wilson, the unique art pieces fetched over $4,500 at our auction!

Nearly 200 guests attended our Gala to celebrated our milestone and raise funds to support our ongoing work.

View our photo album on Facebook for more pics from the Gala!

Thank you to everyone who joined us this year in celebrating 40 years of audacity!
We look forward to another great year of serving Calgary in 2013.

From all of us at CSHC, we wish you and yours a safe and happy holiday season!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

What type of birth control is right for me?

There is no ‘best choice’ of birth control that works for everyone. You have to decide what will work best for you. Look at the options and decide on a method that feels right for you.

There are many things to consider when choosing a form of birth control. Some people need to consider such things as effectiveness, side effects, ease of use, accessibility, cost, possible allergies or other medical conditions, and comfort levels around inserting certain methods vaginally or taking hormones.

Choosing a birth control method that works for you may require some planning. It should be something that you feel comfortable with. As you move into different stages in your life your birth control needs may change. Remember, you can always switch methods if your circumstances change or if you are having concerns.

Some possible questions both men and women may want to consider when choosing a method that’s right for them are:
  • How effective is this method?
  • Can I use this method, or do I have to rely on a partner to use it effectively?
  • Does this method protect against Sexually Transmitted Infections?
  • How is this method used? Does it fit my needs and lifestyle?
  • Does this method have any side effects? If yes, what are they?
  • What is the cost of this method?
  • How available is this method and where can I find it?
  • How will this method affect my ability to have or cause a pregnancy in the future?
  • Do I have an allergy or medical condition that will affect my ability to use this method?
  • How do I feel about applying this method to my body?
  • How do I feel about taking hormones or my partner having to take hormones?

You may want to speak to a health professional about your options or to discuss your concerns or questions.

If you would like more information about the different forms of birth control that are available please check out the birth control section of our website or call or email to speak to one of our counsellors.