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.

How to Spot an Unhealthy Relationship

By Trinady Moore, Youth Partner

Sometimes relationships can be unhealthy without people realizing it. This includes platonic friendships, familial relations, and other kinds of relationships. Almost everyone has been (or is currently in) an unhealthy, toxic relationship. Here are some ways to tell whether or not you’re in one.

Let’s Talk About Sex(ual Health)

This September, we’re celebrating healthy youth and whole communities through Sexual Health Awareness Month. Learn how to take charge of your sexual health this month through these resources.

Sexual Health Resources

Choose Your Method: This tool allows you to choose a contraceptive option that works for you. Users who use this tool can sort through method cards, filtering them based on what they’re looking for in a contraceptive method. Options include preventing pregnancy, preventing STDs and STIs, over-the-counter methods, and ones that can provide painful period relief. The site also has emojis to filter for those with penises and vaginas, and for anal and oral sex. The resulting method cards show options that meet the criteria of the user.

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).

All About the FDA-Approved OTC Birth Control Pill

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 pregnancy in the U.S.

However, a drug approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will make accessing contraception easier. In July 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Opill, an over-the-counter method of birth control that will soon be sold online and in stores.

Minority Mental Health Awareness Month: How You Can Help

“Man up! Boys don’t cry!”

 “Wipe your face. You’re a strong black woman. You’ll be fine.”

“Stop acting bipolar.”

“There’s nothing wrong with you. You just want attention.”

“People are gonna think you’re loco/crazy if you keep acting like that.”

Have you ever found yourself saying or hearing any of the above phrases or something similar? These are all phrases that cause stigma around mental health. July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. This month Teen Health Mississippi wants to highlight ways to combat mental health stigma and bring awareness to mental health services and resources.

THMS to Host 2023 MYSummit June 8-11, 2023

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.