Teen Health Mississippi Receives Grant From The Upswing Fund

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.

“We are happy to announce that financial support from The Upswing Fund will enable organizations to continue mission-critical work with adolescents who are of color and/or LGBTQ+ in this challenging time,” said Solomé Tibebu, Director of The Upswing Fund, in a press release. “These organizations are on the front lines combatting a mental health epidemic during a global pandemic by delivering impactful programs and innovations in an ever-changing world.”

Teen Health Mississippi will use the grant to expand our work to reach more underserved youth in Mississippi, which includes expanding the Mind Elevation Project.

Project ME. is a mental health resource hub with an on-the-ground grassroots campaign and virtual resource campaign designed to teach youth about the intersection of sexual health and mental health topics. The hub consists of sexual and mental health resources, including safer sex resources, a mental health and sexual health resource booklet, virtual resources, conversations and discussions with youth and experts about youth mental health and healthcare, and other resources. We use this platform to bring discussions about mental health and sexual health through storytelling and colorful illustrations directly to rural minority youth. This platform is created for youth and by youth within the state of Mississippi, with a special emphasis on youth leadership and development.

We will also use the grant to provide more trauma-informed trainings and Mental Health First Aid trainings to youth, youth-serving adults (e.g. teachers, parents, faith leaders, and community based organizations), and healthcare providers to help recognize mental health issues within youth and trusted adults. Through a network of Mental Health First Aid responders within rural communities, we can bring awareness to mental health, build community capacity to provide services and linkages to each other, and help break the stigma associated with mental health in these areas.

“Research shows us that half of American youth experience trauma in their lives. Youth who experience trauma are more likely to have a history of STIs, depression, and unplanned pregnancy.  If we truly want a better brighter future for youth, we must begin to have open and honest conversations about mental health and sexual health in our communities,” said THMS Executive Director Dr. Hope Crenshaw.

Teen Health Mississippi is a 501c3 with a mission of giving young people in Mississippi access to high-quality sex education and youth-friendly healthcare. We also work to bridge gaps between young people and their communities because we know that when youth have the resources they need, everyone benefits. See teenhealthms.org for more information.

Mississippi Youth Deserve More Than HB 999

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.

Release: Teen Health Mississippi Receives Grant for COVID-19 ERF

Amber Helsel
Teen Health Mississippi
amber@teenhealthms.org
teenhealthms.org

Teen Health Mississippi Receives $65K Grant for COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund from Momentum Fund

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.

THMS started the ERF in March 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 and partnering organizations have given over $60,000 in relief aid since March 2020.

“We want to support youth so they can make informed, healthy decisions that positively impact their life trajectory. When youth make decisions because they are hungry or lack shelter, they may respond in ways that address the immediate need but that may jeopardize their overall health and well-being,” says Teen Health Mississippi Executive Director Dr. Hope L. Crenshaw.

Teen Health Mississippi will use the grant from the Momentum Fund to team up with youth-serving organizations across the state to get much needed aid and supplies to Mississippi youth.

To learn more about Teen Health Mississippi, visit our website. To help support THMS’s mission of providing continued support to young people through programs like the ERF, please click here.  

Teen Health Mississippi is a 501c3 with a mission of giving young people in Mississippi access to high-quality sex education and youth-friendly healthcare. We also work to bridge gaps between young people and their communities because we know that when youth have the resources they need, everyone benefits. See teenhealthms.org for more information.

Looking Back on 2020 — 6 Wins to Celebrate

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.

Choose Your Method: New Online Tool for Pregnancy Prevention Education

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.

Release: Teen Health Mississippi Working With Mississippi Organizations With #startsmall Funding

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey created the #StartSmall initiative as a way to help fund global relief during the coronavirus pandemic. As part of that initiative, Teen Health Mississippi was awarded a $75,000 grant for our Emergency Relief Fund.

To maximize the impact and to reach youth across more areas of the state, Teen Health Mississippi has decided to award the funds from the grant to youth-serving organizations in Mississippi.

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.