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. 

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 Unsplash.com

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.