To mark Sexual Health Week in September 2019 the NICS LGBT Staff Network in partnership with NICS WELL held a series of lunchtime seminars. The aim of this was to raise awareness on a broad range of Sexual Health issues and the support available for those who may require it – a sensitive subject and one not usually discussed in our workplace! Sexual health covers everything from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) to contraceptive services and pregnancy counselling. These issues can affect all of us in different ways and, as the seminars aimed to show, it should not just be a priority for young people or ‘Men who have sex with men’ (MSM). In fact, there are steps many of us can and should take to protect our sexual health and so the seminars were aimed at all staff, whether interested from a personal, professional or parenting point of view.
The guest speakers came from a diverse range of public and statutory organisations and delivered what can only be described as very informative, factual – and occasionally entertaining! - account of the issues currently being faced by the services in Northern Ireland. The seminars proved to be a huge success with over 80 attendees at both events and were supported by senior members of the Northern Ireland Civil Service. The positive and encouraging feedback following the seminars was a testimony of its success with all attendees indicating that their knowledge on the topics had increased. Below is some of the feedback provided by attendees.
“A great deal covered – very insightful and informative. It was a fantastic seminar with a variety of speakers who were all extremely factual and interesting”
“Just wanted to say what a brilliant seminar you provided over lunchtime. It was very, very interesting and loved the fact there were a few different speakers, which made it more interesting.”
‘Excellent very enjoyable and lots of information. I would suggest handouts or flyers”
For those who could not attend the events, the Public Health Agency also provided a series of informative messages which can be found online at the links below.
The Network would like to thank all guest speakers for participating in the seminars and for all those who attended. Future events are currently being considered and we look forward to seeing you all at one of them.