BLISS

BLISS stands for “Building Lessons in Sexual Health Stories.” BLISS is a proposed research project centred around implementation-based research which aims to develop an alternative sexual health learning space for high-school girls in the Kingston community.

*WE ARE CURRENTLY RECRUITING FOR YOUTH ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS PLEASE SEE OPPORTUNITIES SECTION BELOW*

Objectives

To assess and gain an understanding of the sexual and reproductive health (SRH) needs/ educational gaps of high school girls attending school in Kingston. To gather information on best-practice SRH learning methods for high-school girls. To use this knowledge to create an evidence-informed SRH learning program with and for adolescent high school girls, with the aim of subsequently monitoring and scaling-up this program throughout other Ontario communities.

Research Abstract

 

Several studies have assessed the sexual and reproductive health (SRH) knowledge of Ontario’s youth. However, few utilized comprehensive and rights-based approaches and thus there is little quantitative and qualitative data. Today’s social climate has allowed for greater SRH conversations for Canadian girls. However, despite the SRH education revisions in 2015, the changing political landscape and limited spaces for dialogues means there is a significant amount of work left to be done. Action Canada’s Beyond the Basics research on comprehensive sexual health education for educators showcased the need for this. They noted that even with the 2015 SRH revisions many of the topics being taught remain optional. Additionally, the definitions have become outdated in a rapidly changing world.

 

Limited spaces for honest dialogues means work must still be done for young women and their SRH needs and knowledge. Past work from York University found that SRH education needs to occur outside the traditional health class; in learning spaces that are relevant, affirming and fun. This study aims to fill these gaps.

 

This implementation-based project, is led in collaboration by a youth run non-profit, Indigo Girls Group (IGG), and Queen’s University professor, Dr. Maha Othman. The project aims to ultimately improve SRH knowledge for high school girls in Kingston through an education model that can be monitored and scaled-up throughout Ontario’s communities. Additionally, the project plans to explore creative ways to proactively facilitate learning on SRH.

 

The results will inform the design of a comprehensive SRH program, aptly titled BLISS (Building Lessons in Sexual Health Stories) for high school girls attending school in Kingston.

 

This program will be run by IGG volunteers, and opened in an accessible manner designed with and for high-school girls.

INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE? CURIOUS ABOUT HAVING A FOCUS GROUP AT YOUR SCHOOL, LEARN MORE HERE: 

Team

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MD, MSc, PhD

Queen's University

Principal Investigator

Dr. Maha Othman

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BSc, MPH, Indigo Girls Group

Principal Investigator

Adele Heagle

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BSc, MSc, Indigo Girls Group 

Co-Applicant & Project Manager

Sarah Nersesian

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BScN, Kingston General Hospital 

SRH Expert

Sandra Milliken

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BA Student, Queen's University 

Research Assistant

Emma Pritchard

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Queen's University

Marketing and Social Media Lead

Kathleen Lecuyer

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BA, MA, Guelph and McMaster University

Gender Expert

Julia Falco

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Queen's University

Research Support

Annaka Merrick

Funding

Project funding was provided by Women’s Xchange at Women’s College Hospital through the

organization’s $15K Challenge grant program.

 

Women’s Xchange is a women's health research knowledge translation and exchange centre based at Women’s College Hospital.

Opportunities

*interested individuals are encouraged to contact bliss@indigogirlsgroup.com to express interest as we are accepting applications on an ongoing basis until the position has been filled.

Youth Advisory Board Members

We are looking for self-identifying girls/women between the ages of 14-18 who are interested in sexual health, education, and women’s rights. No experience necessary! Bring your ideas to the research project development and have a say in how we do our; recruitment, analysis, and sharing our results. Meet and connect with the women-led research team at Queen’s University. Mentorship from the BLISS team (university students, medical students, health professionals, and a Queen’s professor)! You will also be given (minimum) $100 CAD for your work! The expected commitment will be approximately 5-6 hours per month (about 3 hours in person on one half-day weekend per month) from December- February 2019 (and possibly longer if you love it).

f you’re interested, answer these questions;

  1.  Why are you interested in the role?

  2.  What experience can you bring to the youth advisory board?

Send your answers to bliss@indigogirlsgroup.com

(If you’re under 18 please also include a permission note from a parent/guardian)

Indigo Girls Group

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