Conversations about sex and healthy relationships can take place at any time but this month, the Adolescent Health Project, an initiative of the Women’s Fund of Omaha, is promoting safer sex conversations and even making it a bit easier.
Printable Valentine’s cards are now available at www.GetCheckedOmaha.com that provide young people and parents/caregivers with a conversation starter about healthy relationships, consent and safer sex. Traditional candy conversation hearts featuring prompts like “Let’s Talk” and “Ask Me Anything” will also be distributed this month to parents and young people.
“Research continues to prove that teens are more likely to postpone sex and avoid STDs and pregnancy if they are able to have these conversations with their parents. We encourage adults to have open and honest, age-appropriate conversations with the young people in their life,” said Brenda J. Council, Women’s Fund of Omaha Adolescent Health Project Manager. “Youth need access to sexual health resources, which includes complete and medically-accurate information, so they can make informed decisions about their health.”
In Nebraska, 32 percent of high school youth are sexually active with 57 percent reporting that they have engaged in sexual activity by the time they graduate. These rates illustrate that it is important for young people to have support from askable adults in their life.
“Conversations about sex can be awkward, but that doesn’t have to be the case. By using these funny valentines, parents and other caring adults can break the ice and let young people know that they are there for them,” said Council. “If we are going to make an impact in our community regarding decreasing STD and unintended pregnancy rates, we have to support young people and provide them with the necessary resources.”
More information about how to have healthy conversations as well as where to access to free condoms and free STD testing and treatment is available online www.GetCheckedOmaha.com. For additional information and ongoing conversations, follow the Get Checked Omaha Facebook page and @GetCheckedOmaha on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #TalkIsSweet.
This campaign is part of a multi-year series of engaging, youth-oriented public service campaigns, produced by the Adolescent Health Project and the Women’s Fund of Omaha.