Help Teen Health Mississippi Reach Communities During #MSGivingforGood Campaign

This has been a hard season for many businesses and organizations, and Teen Health Mississippi is no exception. But even through the turmoil of the past few months, we know that our work is still important, especially during a major public health crisis. It’s also important in this season to raise awareness for those fighting COVID-19 and helping our communities. This is why we need your help.

RELEASE: Teen Health Mississippi Receives $75,000 Grant From Twitter Co-Founder’s #startsmall Initiative

#startsmall, an initiative Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey created as a way to fund global COVID-19 relief, has awarded Teen Health Mississippi (THMS) a $75,000 grant for our COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund (ERF).

Teen Health Mississippi started the fund in April 2020 after talking with some of our youth partners and discovering that COVID-19 has negatively impacted them and other young people in Mississippi. We want to support our communities and their young people by connecting them to the resources they may need, including financial resources. To that end, THMS launched the COVID-19 ERF to help youth across the state whom the pandemic has affected negatively. THMS has received 4,000 applications to date and awarded $11,000 to more than 150 youth across the state. 

COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund Awards 150 Youth from Across Mississippi

Edit: This release has been updated to reflect current numbers from the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund.

Teen Health Mississippi (THMS) may focus on getting Mississippi youth access and resources for high-quality sex education and youth-friendly healthcare, but we are also community-driven, and right now, our communities need us.

Half of all American children have experienced at least one traumatic event in their lifetime. COVID-19 is a form of trauma. People who have experienced trauma are three times more likely to experience depression, and trauma also impacts the decisions young people make about their sexual expression. People who have experienced trauma are four times more likely to develop an STI, may not have used condoms during the last time they had sex and have higher rates of unplanned pregnancy. 

Teen Health Mississippi Creates Emergency Relief Fund Program

Teen Health Mississippi

In light of COVID-19 and the financial problems the pandemic is causing Mississippians, Teen Health Mississippi (THMS) has created an emergency relief program for THMS youth partners and Mississippi teens. 

The Emergency Relief Fund Program was established to support the urgent needs of financially disadvantaged Teen Health Mississippi youth partners and young people ages 13 to 19 from across the state impacted by COVID-19. Funds are intended for young people who demonstrate an immediate need for interim housing, nutritional stipends, baby care items for expectant and parenting teens, transportation, medical care/supplies, and school supplies.

Community Health Centers Offering COVID-19 Testing

On April 17, the Community Health Center Association of Mississippi announced in a press release that 21 community health clinics will offer COVID-19 screening at testing.*

Of the 21 community health center sites offering testing, 18 offer drive-up or curbside services. To use this service, patients need to call ahead to the health center, and once they arrive in the parking lot, they talk to the provider on the phone. The providers will meet the patient at the person’s vehicle to perform the testing, if needed.

THMS Response to COVID-19

Photo by CDC on

On Saturday, March 14, 2020, Governor Tate Reeves declared a state of emergency for the state of Mississippi regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19).  We are uncertain of the impact this virus will have on our communities in the long run, but are certain that this pandemic has immediate impacts on the health, economics, and mental and psycho-social well-being of the communities we serve.

Teen Health Mississippi is especially concerned about the safety and well-being of our staff, youth, communities, and partners that we counter across the state of Mississippi and beyond. At the same time, THMS is committed more than ever to our mission of ensuring youth have access to high-quality sex education and youth-friendly healthcare services.

Title X Gag Rule: What It Means for Mississippi Youth

The Title X Family Planning Program is a federal grant program that provides family planning and preventive healthcare, like breast and cervical cancer screenings, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, birth control, and pregnancy services. In February 2019, the Trump Administration announced a Title X Gag Rule that has concerning implications on the program.

A Year of Impact: 2019 Annual Report

This year might have been our first as a standalone nonprofit, but Teen Health Mississippi hit the ground running—literally. We traveled more than 20,000 miles to conferences, events, and 130+ trainings. Our team also continued to develop programs that cross areas such as capacity building, parent trainings, and youth-friendly healthcare, plus we awarded five subgrantees to a youth council and youth-serving organizations across the state.

And that’s not all! We invite you to read the full 2019 Annual Report to see how Teen Health Mississippi is championing teens and adults who want to improve sexual health education, training, and policy.