On June 8-11, 2023, young people from across Mississippi and the southeast US will gather in Raymond, MS to build skills to help them lead change in their communities.
Hosted by Teen Health Mississippi and our partners, the Mobilizing Youth Summit (MYSummit) provides young people with an opportunity to increase awareness around issues affecting youth in their communities. Young people will collaborate with other youth advocates, local and state leaders, entrepreneurs, policy experts, and social activists to identify paths to move Mississippi forward, especially as it relates to advocating for change, organizing, mobilizing efforts, and lobbying policymakers. Attendees will participate in immersive workshops, thought-provoking roundtables, and inspiring keynotes, all while building their network of fellow changemakers who are working toward change in their local communities.
Teen Health Mississippi (THMS) is working with The Policy & Research Group (PRG) to develop a new teen pregnancy prevention program for youth involved in the criminal justice system.
The project aims to use Social Network Theory and motivational interviewing to help youth in the justice system to increase awareness of their social networks and how their networks influence their behavior, specifically when it comes to sexual behaviors.
Teen Health Mississippi is currently working on a prototype that will help participating youth think through their social networks and goals for their future.
“I am excited that we are getting close to being able to put our intervention in front of young people. I think that the fact that we’re looking at them as a whole person and not their offenses will make a great difference,” Teen Health Mississippi Director of Healthcare and Community Engagement Whitney French says. “Hopefully their time in the intervention will give them some positive decision making skills as well as a strong support system to help them reach their goals.”
For many families in Mississippi, 2021 brought heartaches and a range of physical and emotional challenges. Rural youth are struggling without easy access to resources on health and healthcare, including information on sexual and reproductive health, mental health, and youth-friendly healthcare.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.