Keep It Simple!

Date: October 7th, 2014
By:

Growing up isn’t easy. Helping teens navigate their sexual health isn’t easy either. Right now, across the country, folks are working tirelessly to make sure teens learn about sex, love, self-respect, and taking care of themselves—and we love you for it!

But there are some things we can make simpler, like making sure the young people we serve, live near, care about, and educate know that they have the right to high quality sexual health care and that we care enough to help them get it.

So, keep it simple! Healthy Teen Network and CAI teamed up to create another way we can help teens get a handle on this whole growing-up-thing. We developed a short, to-the-point facilitator’s guide, or lesson plan, you can use along with your sex ed program, health educators, clinic outreach staff…however you can think to meet teens where they are.

What is it?

Keep It Simple is a 45-minute lesson that covers:

  • Minors’ right to reproductive health care;
  • A short, fun film, or motion graphic (4:30), about the services and contraceptives available at teen friendly  health centers;
  • Information about where teens can go to get these services and how to get in touch with folks who can help;
  • A planning activity to help get the “heavy lifting” out of the way when it comes to getting started seeing a clinician.

Keep It Simple comes with a super handy template that will help you relay information about teens’ rights to seek out sexual health care and a template for referring young people to the health centers that will meet their needs. The lesson plan has easy to follow information about understanding what it means to be a teen friendly health care provider—so you can find one when you need one.

BONUS: The film is available online and can be shared via social media!

DOUBLE BONUS: The film and guide are also available in Spanish, titled No te compliques!

Things to Know

  • While this lesson and its materials are flexible, if you’re using an evidence-based intervention (EBI), you should consider using it before or after the programming or talk to the EBI’s authors.
  • The fancy templates above? For those, you’ll need a free Prezi account and then you can totally customize them to suit exactly what your teens need. Just print them from the Prezi site!
  • Last, but most importantly, teens need to not only know that sexual and reproductive health care is available to them—they need a reason to seek it. Youth who have dreams for the future and feel connected to their community are more likely to actively avoid pregnancy, STIs, and HIV.  That means that while this lesson is fabulous, it is most appropriately delivered with other activities that support teens in exploring their goals so they will see how important it is to protect their health.

We (CAI and Healthy Teen Network) had the pleasure of working with the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy’s DC Teen Advisory Group (DC-TAG), whose thoughts and input on this project made the materials come together. We thank them for their insight and creativity.

We are so excited to hear what you think, too, so please keep us posted! Also, we’ll be presenting a workshop on Keep It Simple! with CAI at our upcoming conference in Savannah—we hope you’ll be there too!

What other resources have you found helpful for teens navigating their sexual healthcare?  Do you think this type of animation will be well received by the youth you serve? Let us know in the comments section!

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About the Author

Healthy Teen Network Manager, Capacity Building & Evaluation, Alex Eisler, MPA, is a creative and innovative champion for adolescent health and well-being. Alex’s experience in resource development, instructional design, management, training, and delivering capacity-building assistance (CBA) across the U.S. has enabled her to develop nuanced and inventive approaches to meet the sexual, reproductive, and social-emotional needs of adolescents, including teen parents.

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