Brock’s Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre (SWAC) will be facilitating a sexual health clinic every week for the rest of the semester.
The clinic, which started Thursday, January 23, will occur every week at the Student Wellness Hub inside of TH134 from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Students who attend will be able to benefit from free contraceptive counselling and free STI screening done by Niagara Public Health.
“What we have for the sexual health clinic is two separate rooms. In the first room we have STI testing. So [the practitioners] will do swabbing, blood work and urine testing because we’re screening for all STIs,” said Julie Fennell, the health promoter for Brock SWAC. “In the other room, we have a nurse practitioner that will talk to students about their contraceptive options.”
According to Fennell, the counselling is for students who are not sure what type of contraceptive they want or those who might want a prescription for a particular contraceptive.
Students will also be able to not only get screened for STIs but can return to the Hub if they receive positive results and get their medications discreetly.
“We just wanted to provide a quick, free and confidential service and [at the clinic] there’s no questions asked,” said Fennell. “Students who test positively for any STI will be notified by whichever means they prefer and will be given options for what to do going forward. Typically, they will get their results within a week.”
Outside of the sexual health clinic, SWAC also hosts a running Ask A Nurse program through their Instagram page. Students who do not feel comfortable going into the Hub can direct message the centre with their questions and every Thursday a nurse will respond to their messages.
“We did this because we had a lot of students who have questions about contraceptives and other sexual health related things and it can be an uncomfortable process to book an appointment to talk to a nurse or doctor,” said Fennell. “Students can ask any questions they want to and we just anonymously post on our story if the question isn’t personalized saying , here’s what the question is and then our nurse just answers.”
In the coming weeks, Brock’s SWAC will be hosting a number of events.
With Bell Let’s Talk Day coming up on Wednesday, January 29, the centre will not only be facilitating a series of activities geared towards de-stressing but will also be launching their ReachOut campaign.
“We will be talking to students and staff about how to recognize the signs of someone struggling while giving them some conversation starters and teaching them how to listen,” said Fennell. “We’re showing people that they could never make things worse by reaching out a hand to someone in need.”
Currently, Brock SWAC does not see many staff and faculty members coming to their events to receive support, but Fennell hopes to get staff to be more engaged and get comfortable about supporting each other.
Students and staff who desire to interact with Brock SWAC are encouraged to visit the centre’s Instagram page @brockswac or reach out to Fennell at firstname.lastname@example.org.