- CSHC has trained more than 15,000 professionals since 2009
- Physicians, nurses, teachers, social workers, and psychologists receive minimal training on sexuality and relationships, even though it often comes up in their day-to-day work
- Professionals tell us they would like to receive more training in this area
- For many people, a nurse, youth worker or doctor may be their main source of information and advice, including about sexuality
- By providing professionals with information, skills, and resources, they can influence change on a large scale with the people they work with
The Training Centre Story
We know that professionals are key to normalizing sexuality. Imagine – if all the professionals in a person’s life had a non-judgmental, holistic view of sexuality and the skills to answer questions, what kind of change would it make?
The Calgary Sexual Health Centre has been providing innovative sexual health programs and services for over 44 years. We began to realize that while our programs were beneficial, we were often with a client group or an individual for a short time, and when we left there was no one who could continue the conversation.
We determined that an additional strategy would be to train professionals who support individuals daily, arming them with information and skills to answer questions and create a safe space for people to ask sexual health questions. As an organization with a long-standing tradition of providing effective programs, we saw an opportunity to deepen our impact and tackle an issue at its root.
The Training Centre officially began in 2009 and has grown exponentially, creating workshops based on the needs in the community and customizing workshops for individual groups. Today the Training Centre at Calgary Sexual Health Centre gives service providers the ability to respond to people who have sexual health questions. Our experienced facilitators lead interactive and engaging workshops that include discussions around normalization, values, boundaries, and resources. Through capacity building with professionals we are dramatically increasing the number of clients that receive sexual health services beyond the scope of our organization.
“Our staff are now more comfortable and equipped to have conversations with the young people in our program around anything concerning sexual health. The training gives you the right information and the right language to use. It becomes more comfortable and you’re more confident.”
-Lisa Seel-Thompson, Calgary Family Services
Training Centre workshops increase the comfort and skill of professionals to talk about sexual health, relationships, gender and sexual diversity. Our workshops help professionals clarify their personal values in regards to these topics and how those values may impact the way we work with clients. Workshops are customized learning sessions that are interactive, engaging, and designed to specifically meet the needs of your group and client serving population. Sessions can be offered in a time and space that is most convenient for your staff.
What will you gain?
- Increased comfort and skill to discuss relationships, sexuality, gender, bullying, and sexual health
- Increased safety and comfort for clients and staff to recognize and celebrate diversity
- Higher rates of staff retention and engagement
- Staff who feel prepared to deal with the sometimes triggering aspects of sexual health
- Staff who can respond to all clients’ questions and situations without causing shame or harm
- Staff who recognize and separate their own personal values from their professional values
- A common approach to addressing sexuality within a team
All sessions are evaluated and based on research and best practices in the area of adult education and workplace learning. Facilitators are skilled professionals and come with years of experience.
Alberta certified social workers will be granted Alberta Council of Social Workers Category A Level Credits for completing CSHC workshops.
“It was helpful to hear about how diversity can be misjudged and how that can play into addiction. It helped me become more aware of the LGBT community”
-Melisa Piper, Addictions Counselor
Travel & Fees
Workshops can be customized to meet the particular needs of your staff and the clients you serve. Each program as a stand-alone can be delivered in approximately three hours, but programs may be combined to create a full day or more. Fees range based on the length of the workshop.
We are based in Calgary but are able to travel to wherever your staff group is located. Additional fees may be applicable based on how far our educators must travel. To book a training session for your organization, or to discuss customized training, please contact:
Becky Van Tassel, Community Development Manager
403-283-5580 ext 317
Who We Are
Becky Van Tassel has been employed in the non-profit sector since 2001. She holds a Bachelor of Social Work and a Master of Education specializing in Adult, Community and Higher Education. From her years of academic and professional experience Becky is adept at creating enjoyable, meaningful, and practical educational sessions for adult learners. As a facilitator Becky is skilled at facilitating difficult topics, discussions, and is able to bring a sense of humor to serious issues. Becky is a Community Development Manager at the Calgary Sexual Health Centre.
Chelsea Kelba has a Bachelor of Health Sciences degree from the University of Calgary, specializing in Health and Society. Her previous work experience has been in the areas of suicide prevention, crisis intervention, mental health, teenage pregnancy and parenting, and employment assistance. Chelsea started at the Calgary Sexual Health Centre over 3 years ago, delivering education programs to youth and adults of diverse backgrounds and experiences from a sex-positive perspective.
Invest in Your Staff
We often assume that professionals we deal with in our day-to-day lives – doctors, nurses, teachers, social workers – have been trained to ask the right questions and give the right information when it comes to sexual health. Unfortunately this topic is often neglected in post-secondary curriculum, and professionals are often left feeling unprepared for the questions that come from their patients, clients, and students.
Training professionals means that Calgary Sexual Health Centre is having a deeper impact than ever before. By sharing our message of healthy bodies, healthy relationships, and healthy communities to groups of people who touch lives every day, we ensure that more people will benefit from our work.
When you invest in the Training Centre, you invest in a healthier future for all Albertans.