Our Approach to Education & Prevention
Blood Ties Four Directions Centre uses a harm reduction approach to education and prevention. Meeting individuals where they are at, our goal is to empower them to make safer choices. Through our education programs, we also work to decrease stigma around HIV, Hepatitis C and sexually transmitted infections.
Educational Programs in Whitehorse
Blood Ties Four Directions Centre provides educational programming on HIV, Hepatitis C, Sexual health, Stigma and Harm Reduction and Overdose Prevention. The programs are delivered in a safe and respectful way that encourages sex-positivity and diversity. Our aim is to equip people with knowledge, skills and tools for healthy decision-making for themselves and for their community. In providing a supportive and inclusive learning environment, participants have the opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogue with their peers.
We offer the following programs:
The H.E.A.T. (Health Empowerment and Action Together) Program allows youth ages 14 to 18 to gain skills and knowledge to make positive life choices around their health. The goal of the program is to prevent HIV, STIs and Hepatitis C among street-involved youth using a harm reduction approach.
This program is designed for Indigenous youth ages 14-18 years, who also fit at least one of the following criteria:
- Homeless or inadequately housed
- Dealing with the criminal justice system and/or illicit drug use
- Currently in care
The program was built by Blood Ties Four Directions Centre around the Information – Motivation – Behavioural Skills (IMB) model, which focuses on the importance of providing not only information, but also increasing motivation to use the information as well as the behavioural skills necessary to do so.
Our program consists of 5 interactive 2 hour sessions where youth participate in interactive activities and skill-building games, in a safe and positive environment:
- Intro to STBBIs and Safer Sex
- Identifying values, making healthy decisions, and communicating them
- Prevention and Resources
- Dealing with Triggers and Slips
- Dealing with Harmful Thoughts, Wrap Up
Goal of the program
The main goal of this program is to prevent acquisition and spread of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C among people who are incarcerated. This goal is achieved through developing health literacy skills.
Health literacy can be described as : the ability to access, comprehend, evaluate and use health information (Public Health Agency of Canada).
This program aims to prevent HIV and HCV infections in people who are incarcerated by developing health literacy, more specifically by:
- Developing abilities to identify trustworthy health information
- Decreasing misinformation around HIV and Hepatitis C
- Developing ability to make health decisions based on trustworthy sources of information and harm reduction
Overview of the Program
This program is designed for men and women currently incarcerated at Whitehorse Correctional Centre.
By adapting activities, the program can be modified to meet the needs of other similar populations that are deemed to be at high risk for HIV and HCV infection.
Our program consists of three 1.5 hour sessions:
- Finding Health Information You Can Trust
- Understanding HIV and Hep C
- Making Safer Choices
This program will allow participants to gain skills and knowledge to make positive life choices. The focus is to increase new or safer inhalation and drug use practices, overdose prevention strategies and prevent acquisition of HIV and Hepatitis C among illicit drug users.
Street College engages people who use(d) illicit drugs in an educational process that confronts stigma related to drug use.
This program is designed for current or former users of injection and/or inhalation drugs.
Our program consists of 2 full day sessions:
- Harm Reduction, Navigating Health Choices and HIV, HCV transmission
- Overdose Awareness and Response, Communication and Negotiation and Stigma
To participate in the program applicants are asked to do a short pre-interview to determine that they are good fit for the program.
Tea & Talk
Target Audience: Vulnerable women, including street-involved women, women who engage in higher risk sex and women who have experienced violence. The program consists of three two-hour and a half sessions.
The goal of Tea & Talk is to prevent acquisition and transmission of STBBIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections), including HIV and Hepatitis C, through:
- Developing body awareness and motivation for self-care;
Body awareness and motivation for self-care are necessary to take the steps to set their boundaries, express their needs and protect themselves.
- Developing communication skills and self-efficacy;
- Providing information on safer sex and drug use that is relevant and easily applicable by participants.
Social Service Provider Training
We offer training for social service providers and organizations on:
- Harm Reduction
- Addressing Stigma regarding STBBIs and Drug Use
For information regarding Harm Reduction training, contact our Harm Reduction Counsellor Karissa Bascom at firstname.lastname@example.org
For information regarding training on Addressing Stigma regarding STBBIs and Drug Use training, contact our Health Education Coordinator Elizabeth Plishka at email@example.com
Resources and Condoms
We can provide free educational resources on HIV, Hepatitis C, & Sexual health. We provide free condoms for organizations & businesses.
For more information on our education and prevention services, contact:
In Rural Communities
Community Harm Reduction Coordinator
Community Engagement Coordinator