On December 16, 2021, the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi announced that the organization has awarded grants totaling $360,000 to 11 Mississippi-based programs, including Teen Health Mississippi (THMS). Teen Health Mississippi will use the funds for the next MYSummit. To learn more and see the press release, click here.
by Advikaa Anand
Sex is an important part of many romantic relationships–intimacy adds a feeling of closeness with your partner. While the average age of initiating sex in the US is 17, there are no hard and fast rules for this. The most important thing is to be frank and honest with your partner about your comfort level.
Sex education has the power to change a young person’s life for the better, but teaching it can be a daunting and loaded responsibility for educators. If you’re new to teaching sex education or thinking about adding it to your class schedule, there are lots of resources and trainings to lean on as you get comfortable in your role.
Teen Health Mississippi is seeking youth ages 13-24 in Phillips, Lee, Monroe, and Desha County, Arkansas, and in Coahoma County, Mississippi to participate in a September 2021 virtual focus group. This focus group will be about their healthcare experiences in those counties and should take about one hour. Selected participants will be compensated with a gift card. The focus group will take place in September 2021, date and time to be determined. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org by August 31.
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.