Our Approach to Education & Prevention

Education & Outreach – Whitehorse

Blood Ties Four Directions Centre uses a harm reduction approach to STBBI education and prevention.

Educational Programs in Whitehorse

This program is designed for Indigenous youth ages 14-18 years, who also fit at least one of the following criteria:

  • Street-involved
  • Homeless or inadequately housed
  • Dealing with the criminal justice system and/or illicit drug use
  • Currently in care

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 use a harm reduction approach to prevent HIV, STIs and Hepatitis C among street-involved youth.

The program follows the Information-Motivation-Behavioural Skills (IMB) model. This focuses on the importance of not only providing information, but also increasing motivation to use the information, and helping develop the behavioral skills necessary to do so.

Youth participate in interactive activities and skill-building games, in a safe and positive environment. 

Our program consists of five interactive two-hour sessions:

  1. Intro to STBBIs (Sexually Transmitted and Blood Borne Infections) and Safer Sex
  2. Identifying values, making healthy decisions, and communicating them
  3. Prevention and Resources
  4. Dealing with Triggers and Slips
  5. Dealing with Harmful Thoughts, Wrap Up

This program is designed for men and women currently incarcerated at Whitehorse Correctional Centre.

The main goal of this program is to prevent acquisition and spread of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C among people who are incarcerated. 

The program aims to achieve this goal by 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).

M.E.D. develops health literacy by:

  1. Developing abilities to identify trustworthy health information
  2. Decreasing misinformation around HIV and Hepatitis C
  3. Developing ability to make health decisions based on trustworthy sources of information and harm reduction

Our program consists of three 1.5 hour sessions:

  1. Finding Health Information You Can Trust
  2. Understanding HIV and Hep C
  3. Making Safer Choices

The program can be modified to meet the needs of similar populations that are deemed to be at high risk for HIV and HCV infection.

This program is designed for current or former users of injection and/or inhalation drugs.

The Street College program allows 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 or have used illicit drugs in an educational process that confronts stigma related to drug use.

Our program consists of two full-day sessions:

  1. Harm Reduction, Navigating Health Choices and HIV, HCV transmission
  2. Overdose Awareness and Response, Communication and Negotiation and Stigma

Program applicants are asked to do a short pre-interview to determine that this program is a good fit.

Designed for vulnerable women, including street-involved women, women who engage in higher-risk sex, and women who have experienced violence. 

The goal of Tea & Talk is to prevent acquisition and transmission of STBBIs (Sexually Transmitted Blood Borne Infections), including HIV and Hepatitis C.

The program consists of three 2½-hour sessions.

  • Developing the body awareness and motivation for self-care  necessary to take the steps to set their boundaries, express their needs, and protect themselves.
  • Developing communication skills and self-efficacy; 
  • Information on safer sex and drug use that is relevant and easily applicable by participants.

This program is meant specifically for social service providers and organizations that provide health and social services.  

This project was designed to discover the factors that make relationships between Blood Ties’ clients and service providers more successful. It also identified barriers that people who use drugs face when accessing social services. 

The project is shared in the hope that other health and social service providers find it useful for strengthening their relationships with clients who use drugs.

To download our guide on best practices for health and social service providers working with people who use drugs, see the Resources page.

Are you interested in expanding your knowledge and making a positive impact?

Our Education Outreach programs can help. Whether you're seeking knowledge on harm reduction, health services, or specialized training for different age groups, our comprehensive offerings are designed to empower and inform. Sign Up Now and Get Involved today!

For more information on our education and prevention services
Outreach Worker - Housing and Harm Reduction
Health Education Coordinator
Outreach Worker - Housing and Harm Reduction

Resources, Harm Reduction Supplies & Condoms

Blood Ties provides free educational resources on harm reduction, HIV, Hepatitis C, overdose prevention and sexual health. We can also facilitate access to free condoms, harm reduction supplies, and naloxone kits for organizations and businesses.