As a health center, you play a key role in South Carolina. Achieving reductions in teen pregnancy rates takes a sustained commitment and investment in our young people. In order to accomplish this goal, please consider the following actions:
Provide adolescent-friendly care.
- Is your health center teen friendly? Find out by using our clinical best practice checklist in our Online Learning Center (OLC).
- Bundle services by integrating positive sexual health messages across areas. For example, during sports physicals ask about sexual history and connect the patient to services if needed.
- Provide low cost (or free) condoms and multiple methods of contraception for youth.
- Make sure your staff is trained to work with diverse groups of teens and uses inclusive language such as “partner” instead of “boy/girlfriend.”
Increase awareness through marketing.
- Teens are tech savvy. Use online advertisements, websites, and social media networks to get youth connected to your services. Directing teens to NotRightNowSC.org is a great way to get started. The website features a birth control comparison tool and health center locator.
- Teens want to hear from their peers. Use word of mouth marketing by encouraging youth who visit your health center to refer their friends.
- Promote your health services through positive sexual health awareness events: World AIDS Day, National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, Safe Spring Break Week, National Condom Week, STD Awareness Month, etc.
Prioritize older youth.
- Partner with two-year colleges and colleges with no health services. In 2008, nearly 20,000 18-19 year olds attended a South Carolina technical college with no health center on campus.1
- Collaborate with adult education programs and community-based organizations that serve older youth who may not have health services. Create a referral system for your health center.
- Deliver your health center’s brochures to these locations and ask them to share your services with young people
- Kershner, S. & Flynn, S. (2009) Population Left Behind: An Assessment of Sexual Health Information and Services Provided by South Carolina Colleges and Universities. Columbia, SC: South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.