My Journey With Depression

by Amber Helsel

This Mental Health Awareness Month, I want to have a candid moment about dealing with depression in the hope of helping others who may be struggling. I also want to share the power of therapy in helping me cope. This is part 1 of a 2-part series focused on mental health and the power of therapy.

Near the end of my first year of college at the University of Mississippi, I experienced my first bout of major depression. Since I had a single dorm room, I was lonely for most of the year. The loneliness didn’t bother me until I started dealing with issues that cropped up in my personal relationships. I cried for about two weeks straight near the end of the school year, and up until a few years ago, I didn’t understand why.

2024 Update: All About the FDA-Approved Birth Control Pill

Opill is now available at stores across the country and doesn’t require a doctor’s prescription!

Ever since the birth control pill first came onto the market in the 1970s, women and girls have had to get a prescription from their doctor. For those in under-resourced and underfunded communities, this can present a challenge. Women in those areas are less likely to have access to effective birth control methods than those in other communities, and Mississippi has the highest rate of teen birth in the U.S.

However, a drug approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has made accessing contraception easier. In July 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Opill, an over-the-counter method of birth control. It is now available online and in stores.

Welcome, SHARE Youth Advisory Council Members!

Say hello to our newest group of youth and young adult partners in the SHARE (Sexual Health for Adolescents Rooted in Equity) Youth Advisory Council!

Comprised of bright minds aged 15-24 hailing from all corners of Mississippi—from the Gulf Coast to Desoto County—this diverse group of young leaders is ready to make a difference in their communities!

Navigating Consent: A Simple Guide by Mariaha

Hey there, everyone! I’m Mariaha. The ME. Project Coordinator here at Teen Health Mississippi, and today, we’re diving into a topic that’s been buzzing around a lot lately—consent. It’s an especially hot topic this month because April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Mississippi Youth Council Hosts 10th Annual Capitol Day

On February 29, 2024, the Mississippi Youth Council (MYCouncil), a project of Teen Health Mississippi, will host its 10th annual Capitol Day, which will feature a press conference, legislative luncheon, and a tabling event at the Mississippi State Capitol in Jackson.

MYCouncil is a group of youth, ages 15-24, from across Mississippi that advocates for equitable health outcomes of Mississippi youth, such as high-quality sex education, youth-friendly healthcare, and sexual and reproductive and mental health resources. MYCouncil members will be meeting with state lawmakers throughout Capitol Day to advocate for issues that matter to them and what changes our legislature can make so that youth and communities can attain equitable health outcomes. MYCouncil is working to educate our legislators about their experiences, thoughts, and desires on issues that impact young people in our state.

Teen Health Mississippi Unveils New Vision for Holistic Youth Well-Being

Teen Health Mississippi (THMS) proudly announces the launch of its transformative mission and vision, signaling a significant shift towards equitable health outcomes for youth and communities through a comprehensive and holistic approach to youth well-being.

The Journey Towards Holistic Well-being

Founded with a focus on sex education and youth-friendly health care, THMS recognizes the necessity to embrace holistic approaches to address the myriad challenges faced by young people. The organization will now actively pursue equitable and supportive healthcare, community- and school-based sex education, mental health supports, innovation in youth-led programming, youth advocacy, workforce development, and leadership/life skills for all youth, including justice-involved and expectant/parenting youth.

Dr. Hope Crenshaw, Executive Director of Teen Health Mississippi, emphasizes the importance of providing resources and information to support youth on their journey to adulthood.

Giving Back for Healthy Youth and Whole Communities

This has been a good, busy, and at times challenging year for Teen Health Mississippi (THMS). Mississippi has had a year with tough moments, including the state legislature passing a law to take out the expiration date on the current sex ed law to the tornadoes in Rolling Fork and Silver City that affected communities we serve in the Delta. Even so, we pushed forward in our work to connect more youth and their communities to a variety of supports, ranging from mental and sexual health support to financial support. 

A Guide To Healthy Relationships

By A’Davion Bush, Youth Partner

Our personal lives are affected by the quality of relationships we have with our partners, family, and close friends. This is why we often look to other people for relationship advice. This is especially true for younger people who are looking for healthy relationships and advice on modern dating.

Nourishing Bonds: The Power of Breastfeeding/Chestfeeding

By Triuna Taylor

Breastfeeding/chestfeeding is a timeless act that enhances the natural connection that occurs between mothers/birthing people and babies. It is a unique experience that creates a strong bond between a person and their child. During Breastfeeding Awareness Month, join us as we delve into the wonders of breastfeeding/chestfeeding.

Mississippi Lawmakers Delete Repealer on State Sex Ed Law

During the 2023 legislative session, Mississippi lawmakers passed a bill that takes the expiration date off the state’s current sex ed law.

The law, originally passed as House Bill 999 in 2011, says that public school districts in Mississippi are required to implement sex education. The law requires each public school district in the state to choose between an “abstinence-only” or “abstinence-plus” sex ed policy and a corresponding sex ed curriculum approved by the Mississippi Department of Education. The law has been reauthorized twice since originally passing (during the 2016 and 2021 legislative sessions).