Youth in Nova Scotia have been clear in telling us that if they are better able to understand and navigate their own sexual health and relationships, they and their relationships will be healthier and less subject to harm. Therefore, our goal is to support youth by helping adults engage in positive and more comfortable conversations with them about sexual health and relationships.


LOOSEN UP AND START TALKING for “grown-up’s” is a three-part workshop series for adults who want to have conversations that are less awkward and more awesome about relationships, sexual health, and safer sex with 2SLGBTQIA youth in their lives. Over three sessions, HeartWood facilitators will work with a group of 12 adults to help them develop their skills and confidence to have the conversations that matter.

This program

  • Is built on the direction and input of a team of 12 2SLGBTQIA youth,  
  • Highlights what youth consider important topics in relation to their experiences and sexual health.
  • Will engage adult participants in activities and discussion that help them practise initiating and holding these conversations, and explore different strategies to make conversations less awkward and more supportive.
  • will share resources that youth have identified as useful (even if only marginally) in their exploration of the things they need to know about.

WHEN? Sept 27, 28th & Oct 17th, 5:30-8:30 each night!

WHERE? 5516 SPRING GARDEN ROAD, SUITE 202 (HeartWood Office, on the 2nd floor of the Sport NS building. The building has an elevator and accessible, all-gender washroom on our floor).

COST & HOW TO REGISTER: We want this program to be accessible, so it’s a pay what you can event! We only have 12 spots available, so please register online at eventbrite  – we’ll email you to confirm the week before the program, and will ask you to bring whatever financial offer you feel comfortable and able to contribute.


  • Sex ed in schools gets a poor rating from many of the young people we’ve talked to
  • Many youth are engaging in sexual activity without the tools and knowledge they need to do so in a safer way
  • Many adults feel uncomfortable talking to youth about sex/sexuality/sexual relationships
  • When people are better informed and can talk about sex, the better and more healthy it is
  • HeartWood wants youth and adults to be able have the important conversations that will make a difference
  • HeartWood trusts youth to know what is most relevant and important to them.

With the financial support of the Nova Scotia Sexual Violence Strategy’s Prevention Innovation Funding, HeartWood  has developed this program in collaboration with a team of amazing youth from the  from the 2SLGBTQIA community. They helped us create this program through a series of summer workshops and are excited about the potential… so are we!


Our program development team included 12 awesome young people (ages 14-24) who helped identify what adults most need to know about talking to LGBTQ+ youth about sexual health and relationships: what is most important in content and approach from youths’ perspectives. These young people came from a range of experiences, and we found them/they found us through connects we have with different organizations in Halifax.

During our first program days (July 18&19), we worked together to create a supportive environment for everyone to bring their best self. We spent some time with community sexual health educators who laid some groundwork for our conversations, and then we dove into conversations and activities that helped them direct us in our development of a training program for adults. WE ALSO LAUGHED A LOT!

After the first sessions, our staff team took a little time to draft a 3-part workshop series for adults based on what we heard from youth (as well as conversations with other community sexual health educators and experts, and a literature review of promising practices). On August 2, we gathered our youth team back together to share our work and get their revisions and nudges towards an even more awesome and relevant program for the adults in their lives and the lives of their peers.

Members of the youth team were paid for their work and insight, recognizing their contributions to this work.


Bria and Rena are facilitation team for the LUST for “Grown Ups” program.

Together they are a dynamic duo, with a range of skills and a shared commitment to supporting young people in NS.