2016 Ophea Conference Q&A with Dr. Jessica O’Reilly


Here is a sneak peak of Dr. Jessica O’Reilly’s workshop on Human Development and Sexual Health, taking place at #Ophea2016!

Q&A with Dr. Jessica O’Reilly’s

1. What interests you most about the topic of Human Development & Sexual Health?

The topic of Human Development and Sexual Health (HD&SH) is essential to the overall health, success and happiness of our students. When we teach and give young people the opportunity to practice healthy behavioural skills (e.g. how to say yes, how to say no, how to clarify personal boundaries), we’re setting them up for a lifetime of healthy interactions — sexual and otherwise. 

Right now I’m most interested in the way Human Development and Sexual Health fits into anti-oppression frameworks. How can we make it more inclusive? How can we make sure that we’re reaching all of our students — not just the heterosexual, gender-conforming, Canadian-born, able-bodied students? I’m always learning and the students have so much to teach us!

2. What key learnings do you hope participants will leave with from the seminar?

-How to effectively communicate and build bridges with parents when teaching HD&SH

-How to increase comfort with challenging and controversial topics

-How to engage students and produce positive behavioural outcomes using the Information-Motivation-Behavioural (IMB) approach to HD&SH

-How to lead inclusive lessons and activities with confidence

3. How will your sessions support participants to build healthy, active schools and/or communities?

We’ll explore ideas and create plans to make healthy relationships a priority in the classroom, schoolyard, dressing room, home and community. I also hope we have the time to brainstorm ways in which we can make healthy relationships a part of our daily programming cross-curricularly. 

4. What are you looking forward to the most about being at the conference?

I look forward to connecting with teachers. I work in a number of exciting industries as a consultant, but classroom-based education is my true passion, and being in a room full of educators always leaves me hopeful, inspired and energized. 

Jessica O’Reilly, PhD
Sex & Relationship Expert 


To learn more about the 2016 Ophea Conference and the great opportunities this event has to offer, visit conference.ophea.net.

For the latest in Ophea news and conference updates follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and don’t forget to share using #Ophea2016.

We look forward to seeing you October 20–21 in Niagara Falls!