It's Valentine's Day, and that brings to mind a lot of very different questions for different people. Will I get a card? Do I send a card? What plans do I make - where to go and what to wear? These have been the classic questions for most people for as long as they can remember, but Valentine's Day 2018 has also raised some new, potentially more important questions.
It's no surprise that during the first Valentine's day of the #MeToo era, plenty is being said about changes to Valentine's Day romance. Elsewhere, several organisations are using Valentine's Day as an opportunity to promote important messages about Sexual Health. And environmentalists are even spreading the message on valentines day that a box of chocolates may not be the most environmentally friendly way to show your love.
In Northern Ireland Valentine's day 2017 is being used to promote key messages to help us to remember about looking after our sexual health. South West College is working with the public health agency and Western Health and Social Care Trust to try to encourage the message of ‘Love Our Sexual Health’. There are a range of promotional materials available around South West College campuses which contain contact details about Sexual Health Services, and in particular the service available on campuses on Wednesday afternoons.
On a wider note, with all the coverage in the press about #MeToo, Valentine's Day 2018 is an obvious time for everyone to think about the issue of consent and what it truly means. It's an important subject for everyone, and one which if you're not certain about - or even if you think you are - you should make it your business to find out more about it.
For lots of people, Valentine's Day is one of the best of the year. For new couples, long term partners, or single people, it holds the potential to be an exciting and romantic day. But this year, when you see the heart balloons, cuddly toys and valentines cards decorating hallways and shop windows, use them as a reminder to think about some very important issues. Ask yourself, have I kept myself safe? Have I taken a chance and would I like the opportunity for greater peace of mind? Is there something I am really concerned about, or worse, things i don't even want to think about?
Help is available is you have any concerns, and all you have to do is ask. If you do, Valentine's Day 2018 could be a very significant one.
South West College Clinic 028 66382693
GUM Service 02871 611269