I've never been so passionate about something before in my LIFE. Here for Her started for a few reasons. It really started with my mom Sharon (a nurse) who educated/ helped young women her entire career and was always there to answer my q's (and my friends' questions) in a supportive & non-judgemental way when growing up. I’ve realized that not everyone grew up that way and periods, vaginas, and health issues in general are STILL stigmatized. God forbid you hold a tampon in broad daylight on the way to the bathroom. Right? Why aren't menstrual products provided for free in public bathrooms yet? It's a no-brainer to us... but it's not a reality everywhere YET.
I personally had an issue in 2017 with my vagina and it took 2 months of walk-in clinics and improper diagnosis (I didn't have a family doctor so it was a bit of a process) and finally a visit to emerg (my poor sister joined LOL I'll tell that story another time) to figure out what was wrong. I felt embarrassed to discuss what was going on... but why? It was something that was beyond my control! The BEST female gynaecologist even told me that she had seen this before many times! WHO KNEW?
It's bullshit. These are natural things that are happening to us & we should be comfortable discussing them! Our health, both physical and mental, are equally important. Here for Her was born on July 25, 2017. Here for Her aims to reduce the stigma around health issues through awareness, education, discussions and charity work. The more we know about our health, the more informed decisions we can make. We discuss issues such as disordered eating, pregnancy, infertility, sexual health, diet culture, anxiety, depression, pelvic floor health, break-ups, grief, challenging norms, self-development & more. Here for Her is a non-judgemental, empowering space where we can feel less alone about these things that we experience.
I hope that we can get to a place where our health is not something we just admit to our families or besties, but discuss openly & proudly. I hope that with more awareness, education and open discussions, we can reduce the stigma around women’s health (and health in general) and continue to challenge norms in our society. You are NOT alone.
Rachel Ettinger, Founder, #HereForHealth
UPDATE: On April 9th, 2019, London, Ontario council unanimously supported our #MenstrualEquity proposal (Matthew Sereda, the DIAAC committee and Rachel Ettinger). Moving forward, menstrual products will be provided for FREE in publicly accessible city owned buildings! This is an EQUITY issue! Thank you city councillors for seeing this need and being the first city in Canada to push this forward! For more info:
Want to get involved?
Make sure to follow us @ShopHereForHer to find out what pop-up shop or event we are at next! Email or DM us on Instagram to get involved. Check out these past collabs & resources, including a shoutout from Richard Branson: