Sexual Health Training

Introduction to Sexual Health

To provide participants with a working knowledge of sexual health and young people, acting as a foundation for further learning about the complexity of these issues.

Key Outcomes:
After this course, participants will be able to:

  • Define what is meant by sexual health.
  • Explore attitudes and values surrounding sexual health.
  • Learn the law regarding sex and young people, including the role of professionals who work with young people and the importance of safeguarding procedures.
  • Raise awareness of forms of contraception, including the importance of long acting reversible (LARC) and correct condom use and condom demonstration skills.
  • Skills development of starting conversations on sexual health with young people and signposting to relevant services.
  • Recognise the importance of sexual pleasure.

Working with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Young People

To raise awareness of the sexual health issues experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people (LGBT) and to enable participants to develop best practice in relation to their service delivery for these groups.

Key Outcomes:
After this course, participants will be able to:

  • Acquire knowledge of language, policy and legislation pertaining to LGBT people.
  • Understand issues that affect LGBT young people, including homophobia, transphobia, heterosexism, and how these can influence choices about sexual behaviour.
  • Raise awareness of the kind of support services, practical tools and information LGBT young people may require in relation to sexual health.
  • Practice skills to support working with LGBT young people.

Delay and Positive Choices

To improve participants’ ability to work with young people on delaying early sex by providing strategies and tools to help promote positive, healthy choices.

Key Outcomes:
After this course, participants will be able to:

  • Gain awareness of the evidence supporting of the teaching of delay to young people.
  • Explore the pressures young people experience around sex.
  • Identify the key role played by self-esteem in sexual relationships.

Acquire practical tools to help young people for build their self-esteem and make positive choices about their relationships and personal safety.

Abortion – supporting young people

This course aims to raise awareness and understanding of abortion to enable professionals to support young people before and after their abortion decision. The trainers take a clear pro-choice perspective which will help participants better support young people in their care.

The course is designed to be really accessible and practical, and is suitable for any member of the children’s workforce who wants to learn about this subject, still widely regarded as taboo. The course is distinguished from other abortion training providers as the content contains a great deal of local information, and by the fact that Jackie Haskins, one of our trainers, has a clinical background working within abortion services for young people.

Key outcomes:
After this course, participants will be able to:

  • gain knowledge of abortion, including methods, statistics, law and statutory guidance, pubic opinion and religious and cultural views on abortion.
  • develop and explore their values regarding the abortion decision to enable participants to offer appropriate support to young people.
  • obtain information on services available to young people in the south west and beyond (including useful information on anti-abortion services).
  • use advice and skills practice to develop practical skills necessary to support young people regarding their abortion decision.

What participants said:

‘Great up to date information about local services available for young people. Liked the small group size, it made it easier to discuss the subject.’

‘The day was structured well, with helpful info and facts.’

‘I have enjoyed the whole day. The exercises were relevant and helpful. I feel better equipped to support young people. Thank you.’

‘A very useful multi-agency study day, with up to date information that was very relevant for practice. Trainers were very approachable and produced a really good day. Thank you.’

‘I enjoyed learning about the local services available. Excellent atmosphere and teaching methods.’

‘Excellent range of practical/medical information and useful techniques to use with young people. Good to have knowledge of supporting services to signpost to. Gave good understanding of legalities.’

‘I valued the booklet on ’10 Ways to support young people with their abortion decision’, learning about all the different medical terms and meeting and finding out information on all the different agencies.’

‘An informative training session which makes you reflect on the importance of providing young people with the ability to make informed choices.’

Talking To Your Children About Relationships And Sex (Speakeasy)

This course aims to provide professionals with the skills and materials to support parents and carers in speaking with their children about growing up, relationships and sex. It is based on the nationally recognised ‘Speakeasy’ programme which was developed by the Family Planning Association (fpa). Mandy Parry, who delivers the training, is a fully accredited fpa Speakeasy trainer.

Evidence suggests that parents talking to their children about relationships and sex is important because:

  1. Parents are key role models and sources of information about sex and relationships for their children and it’s therefore essential they have the right information to share with their children.
  2. Children who can talk confidently to their parents about sex and relationships are more likely to delay sex and have better sexual health outcomes.
  3. Parents and children are better able to recognise and report abuse and so children are safer.
  4. Parents are the first and most enduring educators of their children and are therefore best placed to answer questions and start conversations about sex and relationships at an early age and wherever they arise.
  5. Parents really enjoy talking about sex and relationships – and offering opportunities to learn more can build effective partnership working for schools with parents.
  6. Children are currently bombarded with dangerous and damaging depictions of sex in the media and on the internet and they need the people they trust to be able help them separate fiction from reality.

This course has been taught in a number of ways. In one example, a group of professionals met for three sessions with the trainer to prepare to deliver the course to a group of parents. The trainer then took a lead role with the parent training group, but then debriefed with the professionals after the training. The professionals were then supported to deliver the course themselves to another group of parents.

In another scenario, we were asked to deliver a day-long session to raise awareness of the course to a group of professionals who were then able to include aspects of the course to the parents they were working with, helping them to talk to their children about relationships and sex.

Alternatively, we have been commissioned to run the groups for parents directly.

MPT has recently trained a group of parents who experienced a course to be course facilitators.

Key outcomes:
Professionals learning to facilitate the course will be able to:

  • understand the principles and content of the FPA course “Speakeasy – talking with your children about sex and relationships”, including the importance of the role of parents in improving outcomes for young people
  • recognise the pressures on young people to become sexually active
  • explore the opportunities and difficulties faced by parents who want to talk with their children
  • practice some of the exercises to use with parents
  • examine and receive copies of the materials to support this work
  • be able to run specific parent groups discussing talking to children about relationships and sex, or include aspects of the training in parent groups.

Parents attending the group will be able to:

  • Understand the importance of sex and relationship education and the key role of parents.
  • Understand the physical and emotional changes boys and girls undergo at puberty.
  • Understand the sex and relationship needs of children at different stages in their lives.
  • Explore the resources available to help parents educate their children.
  • Understand how to respond to the needs of children in relation to sex and relationships education.
  • Understand different methods of contraception that are available.
  • Understand different sexually transmitted infections and safer sex.
  • Understand social and cultural attitudes towards sex and sexuality as they relate to children and explore strategies for dealing with pressures.
  • Understand the differences between healthy and abusive relationships.
  • Understand sex and relationships education statutory and non-statutory guidance.
  • Understand sex and relationships policy and practice in the school.
  • Understand the sex and relationships services available to young people in Bristol.
  • Evaluate personal progress and understanding, and make action plans for the future.

What participants said:

‘It’s a good course because it will open your views and awareness of young people and sex.’

‘It’s really interesting and useful, made me realise how important it was to start conversations with my children.’

‘I’ve really taken on board that everyone has their own opinion and that opinions are very different. I’m very confident that I can g away from this course knowing that I am doing a good job as a parent and now I have more information.’

‘I’ve enjoyed hearing views from other parents. Mandy was very open to our questioning – our good, bad and questionable questions!’

‘I think the session we talked about Domestic Violence was a real eye opener and I will use what I learned in future relationships.’

‘I learned about the signs to look out for in children who are being abused.’

‘I’d really like other parents to be made aware of how most sex and relationship education is non-statutory. I would really like to promote this course to other schools as I think schools should involve parents and students (in an age appropriate way) in sex and relationships education.’