FOXY starts spin-off sexual health and relationship workshops for young men
'Since we started FOXY we've had teenage boys knocking on the windows trying to get into our workshops'
A sexual health program for young women in the NWT is expanding to include young men.
FOXY, or Fostering Open eXpression among Youth, uses art to encourage young women to talk about their sexuality and relationships. It took home the $1-million Arctic Inspiration Prize in 2014.
Now an offshoot called SMASH, or Strength, Masculinities, and Sexual Health is going to take off this summer in a pilot project for young men.
"Since we started FOXY we've had teenage boys knocking on the windows trying to get into our workshops," said Nancy MacNeill who sits on the FOXY board of directors.
"We've seen that using realistic education and empowerment, it really changes the outcome and outlook on sexual health for young people. And the way that we've seen that affect young women has really encouraged us to bring it to young men."
MacNeill says their research has shown young men didn't know how to talk about their feelings and about relationships and they wanted to learn.
"They wanted to know 'OK, how do I talk in a respectful manner?' They wanted really practical knowledge on how to communicate in these ways."
SMASH will hold a peer leader retreat in July and begin delivering workshops in at least 10 high schools in the Northwest Territories this fall.