When it comes to the state of sex education in Mississippi and across the country, there’s much work to be done if we want to see real results—more contraceptive use, less young people living with HIV, higher numbers of teens getting information to make informed decisions for their life and health. But how did we get here? Let’s dive into four sex education stats that help explain the limits and opportunities of sexual and reproductive health classes in our schools.
At Teen Health Mississippi, we believe that everyone deserves to feel safe, included, and respected when accessing healthcare services, regardless of their gender identity or expression.
Depression in teens can be easily disguised or ignored by symptoms that are commonly associated with the teenage experience, like low self-esteem and increased irritability. But keeping your eyes open to the internal and external struggles of the young people in your life can help you provide necessary help and support to teens experiencing mental health challenges or crises.
Teen Health Mississippi (THMS) is one of 88 organizations in the U.S. that has received a grant from The Upswing Fund to increase our capacity to serve more youth, especially those in historically underserved and under-resourced populations.
The Fund, which began in October 2020, aims to expand mental health services for adolescents of color and LGBTQ+ youth. Upswing awarded $10.8 million in grants to organizations in 33 states.
UPDATE April 2021: HB 633 has passed the Mississippi House and Senate and signed into law by Gov. Tate Reeves.
During this session, the Mississippi Legislature has decided to renew the state’s sex education legislation (HB 999), a law that has been in effect for the last 10 years. HB 999 (also called HB 494) requires public school districts to adopt and implement a sex education policy (either “abstinence-only” or “abstinence-plus”).
Extensive research confirms that abstinence-only methods have no impact on the sexual behavior of youth. Teen Health Mississippi believes Mississippi youth deserve more than HB 999. As such, we do not support the law’s renewal under HB 633.
With some of the highest diagnosis rates in the country, there’s a lot of work to be done on HIV in Mississippi. From spreading information and training to providing better healthcare in our communities, we’re seeing growing momentum that can get us to zero new cases and put an end to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Mississippi law requires public schools to use approved sex-ed curriculum for either abstinence-only or abstinence-plus education. But what’s the difference between these two options, and are they effective for Mississippi students? If you’re looking to learn more about these approaches, we’ve broken them down into the basics.
Momentum Fund, a project of the United Philanthropy Forum, has awarded Teen Health Mississippi (THMS) a $65,000 grant for our COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund (ERF).
The Momentum Fund is providing $9.1 million in grants to 139 organizations across the U.S. that have been managing COVID-19 relief funds for communities of color and others that have been negatively impacted by the pandemic.
As 2020 comes to a close and we take stock of the year, we’re choosing to celebrate the wins and the resiliency of our community. It’s pretty incredible what we’ve been able to accomplish together—in spite of all that this year threw at us.
We believe that Mississippi teens can be smart about their sexual health when they have access to high-quality, evidence-based information to inform their decisions. To make it easier for youth to learn about birth control and STI prevention options, plus how to access them, Teen Health Mississippi recently launched an online, interactive tool called Choose Your Method.