The Sexuality Education Resource Centre Manitoba wants to increase your knowledge of sexual health.
"We’re a community-based, pro-choice, non-profit organization and our mission is promoting sexual health through education," says Roselle Paulsen, director of programs at SERC Manitoba, which operates two Manitoba offices, one in Winnipeg and one in Brandon.
"While we don’t offer clinical services, we do lots of information and referrals to the places that do. Our work really focuses on education within the community, so youth, parents, couples, individuals as well as service providers."
"We do lots of training and consultation with people working in education, health, social services, pre-service at the college and university level, as well as in-service for people who are already in their roles and wanting to become more comfortable as sexuality educators to their own constituents."
SERC began in 1934 as the Winnipeg Birth Control Society and over the years has gone by such names as the Family Planning Association of Manitoba and Planned Parenthood Manitoba. Like sexuality education, SERC is an ever-changing organization.
For instance, Feb. 12 was National Sexual and Reproductive Health Day and SERC marked the occasion with an open house and the launch of a new website, www.serc.mb.ca.
"One of our mandates in our strategic plan is to try and do a broader job of reaching all Manitobans," Paulsen says, noting SERC’s particular attention to the LGBT, aboriginal and refugee/immigrant communities.
"This online resource is going to be a really critical piece of that because of how spread out our province’s population is and how expensive it is to travel across all of the areas."
Paulsen says the new and improved website will make it easier for people to access sexual health information. That includes information about relationships, pregnancy options, birth control, safe sex, sexually transmitted infections and talking with your children about sexuality.
"We want people to celebrate their sexuality," Paulsen says. "Talk with your partners, enjoy your relationships, practice safer behaviours and talk with your kids. It’s really just about communicating."
SERC’s Winnipeg office is located at 200-226 Osborne St. North. Phone (204) 982-7800 for more information.