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  • Peer Support Training Hits the Road

    October 17th, 2014


    by Janet Madsen  |  @janet_madsen

    Providing peer support can be emotionally demanding, as HIV certainly has its challenges. Peer Support training helps women discover their strengths and understand how to have healthy peer relationships. We’ve been offering level 1 and 2 Peer Support training to women in the Lower Mainland for a number of years, and soon we’ll be taking it on the road. Melissa and Sangam are heading to Vancouver Island November 26-28 to lead Peer Support training for women from Greater Victoria and other communities on the Island.  pwn peer support

    One of the big questions following diagnosis is HIV disclosure. Who do you tell? When? How? Micheal Vonn is Policy Director at the BC Civil Liberties Association and is one of Canada’s top authorities on HIV criminalization. We’ve been lucky to have her speak during our Vancouver-based Peer Support training, and she’ll be along for the ride in Victoria too. Community workers will be welcome to come to her presentationon November 27.

    Ok, the details:

    Training will cover

    • supportive listening
    • communication skills
    • giving emotional support
    • sharing knowledge, setting healthy boundaries
    • providing practical help to women living with HIV

    The training is 3 days (10:30 AM- 4 PM) in downtown Victoria. We can provide a childcare subsidy for women who need childcare in order to attend the training. We have transportation and accommodation funds for women who are coming from outside Greater Victoria.

    Not everyone is comfortable with peer support once they understand what is really involved, so applicants will be screened for suitability. You must be a self-identified woman living with HIV to apply. Training will take place at St James New Horizons Society, 234 Menzies Street, Victoria.

    To apply, contact Melissa or Sangam at 1-866-692-3001 or  Deadline to apply is Friday November 14.

    This is a project in partnership with AIDS Vancouver Island and Vancouver Island PWA Society. A special shout out of thanks to our sponsor,  Vancouver Foundation.

    The carnival was in town

    October 10th, 2014

    by Erin Seatter | @erinlynds


    Hoopla, a women’s health carnival, debuted yesterday in Vancouver. Organized by Positive Women’s Network, in partnership with Options for Sexual Health and Women Against Violence Against Women, the carnival provided an opportunity for service providers involved in supporting different aspects of women’s health to come together, connect, and share.hoopla1

    Health doesn’t just mean visiting a doctor. Any organization that supports women in some way is contributing to women’s health and well-being. Support may include legal information and advocacy, English-language classes, family counselling, children’s programming, art therapy, assistance with systems navigation, community kitchens, and more.hoopla-1

    Many carnival participants expressed appreciation for the opportunity to connect with organizations they don’t usually talk with and to see a sampling of the kinds of women’s services available in the area. They were also impressed by the array of topics covered by feature presenters: sexuality and human rights, e-health and privacy, menopause and HIV, women’s resistance to violence, and cyber misogyny. As one carnival participant said to me, we gather at health fairs not only to share our expertise and resources, but also to learn from others as well.