Santa Fe, NM (KDBC) — October is dedicated to families starting the conversation about sexual health with their teenagers.
The New Mexico Department of Health is participating in national “Let’s Talk Month.
“The goal of Let’s Talk Month is to encourage young New Mexicans to enjoy their teen years and avoid the responsibilities that come with teen pregnancy and parenting,” said Department of Health Cabinet Secretary, Retta Ward, MPH.
Birth rates for teenagers are declining both in New Mexico and the United States, but the New Mexico birth rate among females ages 15 to 19 remains higher than the national birth rate.
Adult-teen communication is one of the effective strategies that the NM Department of Health recommends for teen pregnancy prevention.
Often, parents and other adults feel uncomfortable discussing sexual health.
These programs give adults information and skills to communicate effectively with young people.
Statistics show that teens consistently say that parents—not peers, not partners, not popular culture— most influence their decisions about sex.
The Department of Health made national headlines last month when it became the second state in the country to launch the BrdzNBz text messaging service.
A teen or parent texts a question and a trained educator responds within 24 hours with an average time of 6 to 8 hours.
Teens text “NMTeen” to 66746 and parents text “NMParent” to 66746.
Through the text line parents receive recommendations on ways they can increase their skills in talking to their teen about sexual health.
For more information on “Let’s Talk Month”, log onto www.stayteen.org .