Back in December I started working for an awesome Montreal non-profit community organization called AIDS Community Care Montreal (ACCM). I had been volunteering there since last summer as a media/communications volunteer when I heard about a really exciting project they were planning on launching – a sexual health text messaging program for youth! People would be able to text their questions about sex to ACCM and receive a text response from our volunteers (BTW we’re looking for volunteers so email me if you want more info).
It was pretty much impossible for me to maintain my cool when it came to wanting to be involved in this project so when ACCM posted for a position to get the project started I applied to be the SextEd Project Assistant and got the job.
I spent the next 6 months doing a lot of research and working with a programmer, designer and volunteers to create a texting system, frequently asked questions database, website, and just about everything else the program needed. After much trial and error, the program officially launched two weeks ago and I’ve been answering questions by text message since.
Here’s a little bit on SextEd:
SextEd is a texting program run by AIDS Community Care Montreal (ACCM) to help youth get information and answers to the questions they have about sex and sexual health. Anyone can text their questions about sex to us and one of our trained volunteers will send them an answer within 24 hours. It’s completely anonymous, free and easy to use!
Since our launch we’ve been getting texts daily and answering questions non-stop. It’s really awesome to know that people who would otherwise have no reliable source of information are finding us. We’ve gotten questions we expected and ones we didn’t, so they’re really keeping us on our toes! While SextEd is being marketed towards “youth” anyone can actually use the service. We all have questions at any age so if ever you’re looking for an answer send us a text.
Anyone who knows me can probably tell that this is a dream project for me, I get to spend my days answering and empowering youth to make their own decisions about sex based on accurate non-directive info. We’ve also been getting some great media on the project which has helped many people find us so please spread the word to people you know of any age!
Oh and by the way: All of our amazing promo materials, including our logo and video were created by Montreal digital media artist AJ Korkidakis (Little Pixel Media). If you haven’t already come across his stuff you should definitely check it out.
If you feel like checking out some of the media we’ve gotten:
- SextEd Press Release
- May 8th 2013: The Montreal Gazette “Program allows teens to text their sex questions”
- May 10th 2013: CJAD – Ric and Suzanne Show “SextEd: Where your kid will go for advice”