5 Questions with Andrew, a former THS Volunteer!
Did you know that Teen Health Source has been around for 25 years! Started in 1993, Teen Health Source has grown from just a phone sexual health info line into a total phone/text/email/online chat peer education service PLUS this very blog that you’re reading RIGHT NOW! To help celebrate our 25th Anniversary, we’re checking in with some of our previous volunteers to see what THS was like when they were on the lines, and where they’re headed now. Today we’re hearing from Andrew!
What was Teen Health Source like when you were a volunteer?
I believe it was called Teen Sex Infoline back then. We answered questions over the phone and over MSN messenger, which sadly doesn’t exist anymore. We also wrote some articles for the website.
Why did you want to volunteer at Teen Health Source?
I wanted to learn more about sexual health and to share that knowledge with other young people.
How did volunteering impact your life after you left Teen Health Source?
It really opened my eyes to how little most people know about sexual health, and how important it is for resources like Teen Health Source to exist. That made me want to continue spreading what I learned whenever I have the opportunity. When people asked me questions about birth control while I was volunteering it really hit me that the information I share with them could mean the difference between that person having an unwanted pregnancy or catching an STI, or not. It feels very fulfilling to know that something as simple as sharing knowledge can impact another person’s life in a positive way.
I was at a party a few months ago and some people I was having a conversation with brought up their negative experiences with the birth control pill. I told them about alternatives like the Nuvaring and hormonal IUD, which they never heard of before. I told them about the pros and cons of the various options. It’s nice to have the kind of knowledge you can continue to share years later.
Since you were a volunteer, has anything happened in the field of Sexual Health that you’re excited about?
I was really happy to see the abortion pill, Mifepristone, finally approved in Canada, and subsequently covered by OHIP in Ontario [Ed: Check out our blog post on the Abortion Pill: Link
I think it will make it easier for women to exercise their right to choose.
Do you have a favourite resource that you like sharing with people? Or is there a resource you wish existed?
I enjoy answering people’s questions myself, but I also recommend Go Ask Alice [Link
] and PPT’s website [Link
When it comes to sex and sexual health, how do we feel about risk? What are things we can do to reduce risk of things we don’t want to happen? For the first post in our What Is Risk series we’re talking about Pregnancy Risk!
When you’re in a relationship, how do you handle new feelings of romantic or sexual attraction for people other than your partner? And what if those new feelings you’re feeling are making you ask questions about your sexual orientation? In this post we cover some definitions for orientations that you may not be familiar with!
In this series we’re going over how people might want to think about interacting with a crush. Our first post covers ways we can understand and define flirting, this post goes over what isn’t flirting, and our next post shares some ways people can try to flirt with their crushes. Let’s go!