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HSE’s ‘Johnny’ sexual health campaign cost €2.3m over four years

By Mindo - 07th Feb 2019

The sexual health campaign was brought to a close last year and replaced by the #respectprotect campaign.

According to figures supplied to the Medical Independent (MI) by the HSE, it spent €446,000 on the campaign in 2017, €703,000 in 2016, €550,000 in 2015 and €630,000 in 2014, with these figures inclusive of VAT.

The total over the four years was €2,329,000, with the figure for 2018 not supplied by press time.

Last August, the HSE launched the #respectprotect sexual health campaign replacing ‘Johnny’s Got You Covered’.

This new approach is aimed at all people living in Ireland and brings together one identity and website, www.sexualwellbeing.ie.

“It is a changing time in Ireland,” Ms Helen Deely, Programme Lead, HSE Sexual Health and Crisis Pregnancy, told MI.

“The research told us that people wanted the HSE to be a trusted resource, that we should provide information to everybody, that the information we provide should be more positive. It should support people around their sexual health, STI prevention, and crisis pregnancy prevention.

“Johnny was seen as ‘heteronormative’, [the campaign] was beginning to wear out. It was time to change.”

Meanwhile, at the beginning of January, the HSE introduced ‘My Options’, a free unplanned pregnancy support service, which will be a first point of contact for support and information about an unplanned pregnancy.

Speaking about the launch of the service, Ms Deely told the public that “we’re here to help you, with professional counsellors, if you want to talk to someone, have a question about continued pregnancy supports, or want information about abortion services”.

The HSE’s My Options service can be contacted at Freephone 1800 828 010.

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