Improvements in Sexual Health Education, Information and Knowledge Across the Lifecycle

Our Aim: Improve knowledge and awareness of sexual health and relationships through the delivery of targeted communications campaigns, customised information and educational programmes and other initiatives across a range of settings.

Sex education in the home, school and other settings is vital in preventing crisis pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted infections.

Improving sexual health and relationships knowledge is a key goal of the Sexual Health & Crisis Pregnancy Programme.

The Sexual Health & Crisis Pregnancy Programme runs and funds a range of sexual health information and education campaigns. The campaigns are targeted to groups identified by research as having particular sexual health information needs, such as children and adolescents, 18-24 year olds, women aged 35-55 and parents, as well as early school leavers, young people who have experienced first sex before 17 years, and other minority groups.

Key actions / work in this area:

  • Working with the Department of Education and Skills and the National Youth Council of Ireland to progress the full implementation of the Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) programme in schools and youthwork settings.
  • Development, promotion and distribution of resources for young people and their parents, to promote good communication about sex and knowledge
  • Running the social marketing Think Contraception campaign, which has the key aim of increasing consistent contracetive use among 18-24 year-olds, the key risk-group for crisis pregnancies.
  • Providing training to a range of organisations, such as the National Parents Council Post-Primary, the National Youth Council of Ireland and Foroige, to deliver relationships and sexuality education to key target groups.
  • Funding and working with services to ensure that youth-based servies have a relationships and sex education component, particularly services working with hard-to-reach groups in community settings, such as Youth Health Cafés.

Information and resources:
TRUST Resource for teachers and youthworkers, comprising a DVD and Relationships and Sexuality Education lesson plans.

B4udecide campaign and website – a campaign that aims to help teenagers aged 14-16 to make healthy, responsible decisions about relationships and sex and encourages them to delay having sex for the first time.

The Think Contraception website – a source of information for men and women living in Ireland who want to learn more about their sexual and reproductive health, especially contraception.
Contraception 35-55 A fertility and contraception awareness campaign to address the finding that women aged 35-55 were a group at risk of crisis pregnancy, mainly due to lack of knowledge around fertility.

 Sex education resources for parents, youth workers and teachers.

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