Response to changes to ohip+
[Image shows a picture of various pills set on top of a pink and white background. The image’s text reads: Unrestricted access to sexual, mental & physical health resources is a right! We oppose the Ford Government's move to revoke access to free prescriptions for folks under the age of 25 who are covered by private sector via their parent/guardians' workplace drug plans, student plans, or other private programs. This change went into effect April 1st, and does not account for those of us who do not have the safety of being able to openly discuss or disclose our health needs with our families, or the limits of insurance plans for those of us who are students. We have compiled local resources in our caption to help navigate these changes!”]
A Response to the OHIP+ Changes
We contacted Telehealth Ontario and ConnexOntario to discuss whether or not there are any local services to help connect folks to low/at-cost mental health prescriptions and did not find any information at this time. It is important to keep in mind that at this time there is not a system in place to police/verify whether or not Ontarians under the age of 25 are connected to private drug plans. It is your choice to disclose that information to a pharmacist! (more information here: https://www.thestar.com/politics/provincial/2019/01/04/free-prescriptions-for-many-children-and-young-adults-in-ontario-set-to-end-in-march.html) These laws will likely evolve quickly and folks should stock up on their medications accordingly.
In regards to sexual health and contraceptive related needs, here are some resources:
Planned Parenthood Toronto: Teen Health Source
This is an online service facilitated by youth peer educators to help connect young people with information about sexual health (http://teenhealthsource.com/). You can text, email, call, or chat online, and hours of operation are: Mon to Thurs: 4:00-9:00, Sat: 12:00-5:00. This service is only available in English. There is no geographical scope to this service, so users do not have to be from Toronto in order to access the resource!
Doin’ It is a text-line (519-569-9521) where you can ask sexual health related questions.
SHORE stands for: “Sexual Health Options, Resources & Education,” and this space based out of Waterloo helps facilitate access to all things sexual health. SHORE can help folks access low/at-cost birth control, free condoms and dental dams, and support access to STI/STBBI testing, and access to abortion. Additionally, staff at SHORE can help answer your sexual health related questions, or questions about how to access sexual health related prescriptions. (https://www.shorecentre.ca/contact-us/)
Brant County Health Unit
This space located at 194 Terrace Hill St. in Brantford offers:
Assistance in getting birth control for those who are not covered under the OHIP+ program
Emergency contraception (morning-after pill)
Free condoms (latex and non-latex)
Free internal condoms (non-latex)
Free dental dams (latex)
Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Centre (Brantford)
This space located in the Brantford Hospital is a resource for folks who have experienced sexual violence and are seeking medical care. This space offers free access to emergency contraception (morning-after pill) and PEP (Post-exposure prophylaxis to help prevent the transmission of HIV) to folks following sexual assault
Laurier Wellness Centres
Both the Waterloo and Brantford campus Wellness Centres offer free condoms for students. Here is a resource about how to make condoms into dental dams: https://www.cdc.gov/condomeffectiveness/Dental-dam-use.html?fbclid=IwAR25g25ssWwFYAsGQDxQZ4Nqw3nchDxuha1pX_-vLD0eoy7Rw3dxhH_jQTo
Low cost birth control options
For folks with a uterus who cannot afford access to the pill, an IUD, or other forms of costly contraceptive, and are sexually active with a partner who has a penis, but are not planning to or trying to become pregnant here are some resources about low-cost contraceptive options and detailed content about how to use them!
Withdrawal Method or Pull Out Method
Fertility Awareness Method (FAM), or the "Rhythm Method" or "Calendar Method"
Follow this link to read Planned Parenthood's detailed resource about FAM