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McMaster Students Union

SHEC

The Student Health Education Centre (SHEC) is a peer-run health promotion, education, and referral service for McMaster University students. SHEC focuses on engaging with students about health-related issues through peer support, events, and campaigns.

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The FREE services we offer include:

  • Confidential peer support
  • Anonymous and confidential pregnancy testing
  • Health supplies including external condoms, oral dams, lubricant, internal condoms, finger cots, menstrual products (pads, tampons with applicators, tampons without applicators), and band-aids
  • Referrals on- and off-campus
  • Lending library and health-related pamphlets
  • Private breastfeeding space, with diapers, a bottle warmer, baby wipes, nursing pads, baby lotion, baby wipes, and rash cream
  • Artificial sunlight lamp

We are located on the second floor of MUSC, room 202.

Please note, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our physical space is closed to walk-ins.  Please connect with us via shec@msu.mcmaster.ca or via our social media accounts so that we can arrange to assist you.

SHEC in partnership with the MSU Food Collective Centre is pleased to provide health supplies through the Lockers of Love program. Items can include safe(r) sex products, menstrual products, and pregnancy tests in addition to their existing provision of non-perishable foods and hygiene products. All of these items can be ordered online through a unique, anonymous code, and then picked up from a locker on campus within two days.

To order items or learn more please visit the FCC page here.

Students can drop by our space any time during our service hours. Health supplies are placed conveniently at the front of the space near the door–you can grab what you need and go or stay for a chat. Volunteers will be in the space to answer questions and help you access the resources you need. Pregnancy tests can be conducting in the space or taken home. Our light therapy ion light can be used in the back space as well. Our lending library books can be checked out with the help of a volunteer.

Peer support sessions usually take place in the back of the centre and can be 1:1, with a friend, or in a group. Once entering the space, you can let volunteers know that you want to speak more privately. They will ask if you want to go into the back of the centre and speak further. During peer supports you can share as much or as little information as you would like. Volunteers can let you know about other resources that might be fitting for you to access, or they can just listen. Peer support is unique to each person and no two sessions will look the same.

Confidentiality

SHEC operates as a non-judgemental, entirely confidential service. All conversations with volunteers are confidential and volunteers have signed agreements disallowing the sharing of personal information, identifying information, and the content of peer supports.

Please note that our peer support volunteers will not engage in any situation that puts them at risk or compromises their own anonymity/confidentiality. Volunteers are only required to disclose about a meeting if a) the volunteer requires a debrief session with a fellow team member or the coordinator (no unnecessary details will be disclosed) or b) the volunteer believes there is an imminent risk to yourself or others.

The Research and Advocacy Committee aims to disseminate health information that is pertinent to McMaster students. Consisting of SHEC volunteers, the committee operates under a framework of knowledge translation and ensures that information is provided both accessibly and practically. Mainly, information is distributed through educational campaigns. Advocacy is also an integral part of the workings of the committee: they respond to university decisions regarding health topics, and advocate evidence-based approaches through their campaigns. Ultimately, the committee hopes to educate and support students so that they can make informed decisions for themselves.