Welcome! I'm Rachel (she/her). Here's my rant ...
Here for Her started for a few reasons. It really started with my mom (a nurse) who educated and helped young folks her entire career and was always there to answer my questions (and my friends' questions) in a supportive and non-judgemental way. I’ve since realized my privilege in this situation and it's not a common experience for most. Menstruation, vaginas- I can go on and on- there's still so much stigma around health. God forbid you hold a tampon in broad daylight on the way to the bathroom! Not everyone can afford menstrual products (on top of all other expenses) yet menstruators have been forced to just "figure it out"... PARDON?
I personally had an issue in 2017 with my vagina and it took several months of walk-in clinics and improper diagnosis (I didn't have a family doctor at the time) and finally a visit to the ER to figure out what was wrong. I felt embarrassed to discuss what was going on. The gynaecologist even told me what I had was common. All I felt was shame around it being a vaginal issue, which wasn’t a STI or pregnancy related BY THE WAY (who knew there were other issues?)
Due to these experiences and more, I started Here for Her on July 25, 2017. Our name, having the pronoun "her" was a massive mistake, for many reasons, but mostly because HFH is focused on health education & challenging societal norms to combat inequities, regardless of gender or what pronouns someone may use. We want our community to be as inclusive as possible and our brand must reflect that. Especially when it comes to menstrual health, people menstruate, not just women. Our rebrand is coming soon! I hope with more awareness, education and discussions about health, people will have access to compassionate healthcare and be better equipped to advocate for their health. There are many systemic barriers in healthcare and we want to be a part of the change. Oh and menstrual products need to be provided in ALL public washrooms, PERIOD!
Rachel Ettinger, Founder, #hereforhealth
What Do We Do?
We focus on health education from health professionals, primary research and discussions on @ShopHereforHer
We challenge societal norms and give our REAL take on issues
We host events to raise money to donate or purchase necessary items (typically menstrual products) to support related causes, charities and shelters
We support and advocate for policy change in the menstrual health space in Canada