This week, Teen Health Mississippi (THMS) is celebrating Community Health Center Week 2022. Every year during the first full week of August, community health centers (CHCs) around the country promote and celebrate their work with various activities. This year’s national theme is “The Chemistry for Strong Communities”. The daily celebrations are as follows:
Sunday – Public Health in Housing
Monday – Healthcare for the Homeless
Tuesday – Agricultural Worker Health
Wednesday – Patient Appreciation
Thursday – Stakeholder Appreciation
Friday – Health Center Staff Appreciation
Saturday – Children’s Health
As a former community health center social worker, I am excited about the awareness this week brings to community health centers and the work they do. One myth that I would like to dispel is that community health centers are “free clinics” that are only for persons who are living in poverty. In fact, community health centers accept most major insurances along with Medicaid and Medicare. They offer sliding fee scales to make healthcare more affordable for community members who do not have health insurance. The wonderful thing about many community health centers is that they serve as a one-stop-shop for healthcare. A person can receive primary care services, dietician consultations, dental treatment, vision services, medication assistance, and so much more. Many of the medical providers and clinical staff are local residents and are dedicated to their work and the community they serve.
Teen Health Mississippi takes pleasure in working with community health centers. For five years, we partnered with a CHC to raise awareness in communities about services available to teens and assisted with making youth-friendly healthcare services and contraceptive options more accessible. We have also made presentations to the Community Health Center Association of Mississippi. Our LinkedUp project works with school-based health center sites of CHCs to ensure young people are aware of their healthcare options beyond high school. THMS has even worked with a CHC system to help them choose a reputable sex-ed curriculum that worked best for their community-based afterschool program. We also offer a Youth-friendly Healthcare training series that all community health centers are welcome and encouraged to complete.
For more information on how your CHC can partner with THMS to increase access to youth-friendly healthcare, contact Whitney French, Director of Healthcare and Community Engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Everyone deserves to feel safe, included and respected. But those with experience working with LGBTQ youth know all too well how often youth identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning are stereotyped, overlooked, or otherwise let down by those they should be able to trust.
To support young parents and expectant youth as a professional, it’s important to listen and understand. Expectant and parenting youth are often pulled in multiple directions, balancing school, work and home lives with becoming a new parent, but access to helpful resources and information along with positive relationships with trusted adults can help them thrive.
Sex education has the power to change a young person’s life for the better, but teaching it can be a daunting and loaded responsibility for educators. If you’re new to teaching sex education or thinking about adding it to your class schedule, there are lots of resources and trainings to lean on as you get comfortable in your role.
Depression in teens can be easily disguised or ignored by symptoms that are commonly associated with the teenage experience, like low self-esteem and increased irritability. But keeping your eyes open to the internal and external struggles of the young people in your life can help you provide necessary help and support to teens experiencing mental health challenges or crises.
With some of the highest diagnosis rates in the country, there’s a lot of work to be done on HIV in Mississippi. From spreading information and training to providing better healthcare in our communities, we’re seeing growing momentum that can get us to zero new cases and put an end to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
July 27-August 7, the Mississippi Department of Health will host a one-stop curbside event for parents to get required school entry and registration forms for their children. The information below is verbatim from the Mississippi Department of Health.
With Mississippi on lockdown and the stay-at-home orders in place, you’re probably wondering what this means for you and bae. While we recommend minimizing contact with others, we know that you might be tempted to “quarantine and chill.” So we compiled this list of health-related information to help you be smart and play your part with your sexual health and fighting the virus.
At this point, many of us (including THMS staff members) are working from home, and times are scary right now. COVID-19 has us like:
But here’s some good news: This too shall pass!
In the meantime, many of us are working from home and largely avoiding going out in public. It’s been about two weeks, and I imagine many of us are going stir crazy. We here at Teen Health Mississippi may dedicate ourselves to getting youth access to high-quality sex education and youth-friendly healthcare, but we are also community-driven, and right now all of our communities need access to information to help us cope with what’s happening. Here are some tips and resources to keep you going during these tough times.