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By proadAccountId-374620 12 May, 2017

It is May.  All I see on Facebook is picture after picture of my friends’ kids dressed up in fancy clothes for prom.  The girls look beautiful, alive and in some cases quite alluring.  The young men look more mature than I have ever seen, a bit cocky even, wearing their suits, ties and tuxedos. The kids don’t look like kids.  They look like young adults.  And now that I’ve thought about that, I’m focused more on what’s going to happen on prom night than on what they are wearing and how happy they look.

Not too long ago, I had a conversation with my 15-year-old son about condoms. He has been to the clinic where I work and he knows that there is a bowl full of free condoms in the lobby.  As we were driving home from school one day he said casually, ‘Can you only get condoms at the clinic?’  I snorted a giggle and said, ‘Of course not.  You can get them anywhere.’  Seriously, how did he not know this? His response, ‘You’re lying.  You can’t just get them anywhere.’  Well, he was right about that.  They aren’t available anywhere. But nearly. I explained that you can get them at a CVS, Walgreens, pretty much any pharmacy, gas station, convenience store and of course at Target and the grocery store.  ‘Target?’ he says.  ‘You must be kidding.’  

Shortly after this conversation, now with both my teen daughter and son in tow, we were in Target picking up a few staples for the household. Without really saying much about it, I marched towards the feminine hygiene aisle, right down to the end of the aisle where there is a very large and elaborate selection of condoms, dental dams and other products capable of providing safer sex. I just stopped and pointed. ‘See, they have condoms at Target.’  And then the three of us just stood in front of the display and stared.  For several minutes.  Certainly, the selection is much greater at Target than at the clinic.  Who knew there were so many choices, colors, scents and even flavors?  Well, now both my teenage kids know.

Prom night is special not only because they are often quickly graduating from high school.  In some cases, prom night is the night these kids have decided to lose their virginity.  The event is depicted, often with great humor, in many movies and TV shows. However, many young people are not fully prepared, or equipped, to have safe sex on prom night. As a parent, you can help your soon to be adults into making responsible choices by giving them access to and the knowledge about where to buy condoms. It is not that hard.  It is not that scary.  Just take the lead and walk them through the aisle at Target.

In the clinic, May is often a month where we see a few extra unplanned, positive pregnancies. To all the parents reading this: whether you have a tween, a teen or a young adult at home, please make sure they know where to buy condoms.  It just makes sense.
By proadAccountId-374620 17 Apr, 2017

WALK IN STI TESTING!

(At the clinic we use the term STI- Sexually Transmitted Infections. STI's and STD's are the same thing but it's how you look at them. If someone gets an infection they go to the doctor to get treatment! We try to break down the stigma so young people seek treatment not hide in the shadows)

 

Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD's) are one of those topics that people typically avoid talking about, but it's one that needs more attention, especially with the current rise of STD's both in the state of Minnesota and nationally. The most recent CDC STD report showed a significant increase in STD's.

  • Chlamydia up 2.8%
  • Gonorrhea up 5.1%
  • Syphilis up 15.1%

 

The CDC estimates that nearly 20 million new   STD 's occur every year in the US , half among young people aged 15-24.   https://www.cdc.gov/std/   Each of these infections is a potential threat to an individual's immediate and long term health and wellbeing.  STD's can lead to severe reproductive health complications, such as infertility (for both men and women) and ectopic pregnancy. This means STD's could prevent you from having/ making a baby in the future.

 

When it comes to STD's, ignorance is not bliss: what you don't know can definitely hurt you in the long run. You can't just assume your partner is free of STD's- you need to ask them if they have been tested. Most people that have an STD don't have any symptoms, so they don't know that they have an infection. To help reduce the chances of getting an STD you have a several options:

  • Abstain from sex-  Everyone always reserves the right to choose not to have sex whether it’s because they’re not ready, they want themselves and their partner to get tested, they want to wait until their in a better mood or until they finish high school or college etc. Abstinence is not just waiting to have sex until marriage which is the definition we hear a lot. Its waiting to have sex until it’s the right decision for you and the right decision for your partner and for a time when you can make that decision together without pressure, without fear, without guilt, without obligation.
  • Use a barrier method each and every time-  If you do have sex (whether it's vaginal, oral or anal sex), always use a barrier method (male condom, female condom, or dental dam). This will help prevent sharing of bodily fluids which is one way that STI’s spread. If you or your partner are on a form birth control.. that’s amazing but birth control only protects against pregnancy they don’t protect against STI’s
  • Limit the number of partners you have - The more partners you have the more chances you potentially have to get an STI.. you can keep safe by knowing your partners status each and every time and it doesn’t hurt to know how many partners they have had in the past. It helps you make the decision that is right for you
  • Know your status!  Get tested before each new sexual partner and have your partner get tested too!
  • Chat with our Nurses!  If you ever have any other questions about what you or your and your partner can be doing to keep safe you can always stop into our clinic and chat with our staff. The can answer any questions you may have about STI’s and how to be safe!

 

We want you to be safe, to take care of your body and to be responsible so come on in for a walk in appointment and get tested! While you're here at the clinic stock up on some condoms or other barrier methods (THEY’RE FREE)

By proadAccountId-374620 08 Mar, 2017
It is difficult to imagine how my life would be altered had the people in it not been there, how it would be affected had other individuals been inserted. The advice I seek out, the opinions offered, and the support given continually adds indescribable value to my life. My father was my first mentor and role model. He believed in me, loved me unconditionally, and supported my decisions. He allows me to make mistakes and fail, a crucial part of growing and learning. He continues to be my sounding board and cheerleader. The amount of love I feel and experience is overwhelming.

As a professional, I connected with coworkers and supervisors who have guided and supported me; one of which is our executive director, Gerilyn. She is one of the strongest women I know. She gave me courage to leave a job that was breaking me down emotionally, and supports me as I grow with my role as a health educator at myHealth. I would not be at this organization or in this position had it not been for her, and I am so grateful. I have an abundance of strong women in my life who mentor me. I have had serious conversations, laughed, and cried with these women. They have encouraged me to take jobs, or not take jobs; they have reminded me of my value and inner beauty, and most importantly, they have challenged me.

It is not possible for us to know exactly what we are doing, how do we learn if we have never done it? Mentors can share their experiences and failures to help us thrive and avoid making the same mistakes.

http://www.mentorset.org.uk/what-is-mentoring.html

What is mentoring?

"Mentoring is to support and encourage people to manage their own learning in order that they may maximize their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be." Eric Parsloe, The Oxford School of Coaching & Mentoring

More resources about mentoring:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevenberglas/2012/02/02/seven-reasons-most-people-need-a-mentor/#792ab72456f8

http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/13288/1/The-Importance-of-Role-Models.html

http://www.rootsofaction.com/role-models-youth-strategies-success/

Watch our video of teens talking about role models HERE!
By proadAccountId-374620 22 Feb, 2017
    • Have HOPE .... Help is available.... Know that what happened is NOT your fault. Seek help – call a rape crisis center - this is not something you need to do alone.


    • Make sure you are in a safe place and contact a trusted friend or family member.

      • If you feel like your life is in danger, call 911.

      • The Sexual Violence Center (SVC) is a 24-hour rape crisis center for Hennepin and Carver County.  SVC (612)-871-5111. They can advise you on the nearest location for medical help.

      • You may also call the 24-hour National Sexual Assault Hotline, operated by RAINN, at 1-800-656-HOPE. By calling this number you will be automatically connected to your closest rape crisis center.

      • is a comprehensive site for Minnesota resources.


    • Get medical attention as soon as possible...  The sexual assault exam (SAE):

      • SAE is best if completed during the first hours or days after an assault.

      • SAE will have no cost to you.

      • SAE will evaluate injuries, provide medication for risks of infection, and emergency contraception.

      • SAE will offer evidence collection.

      • SAE helps coordinate information for your recovery.

      • SAE exam is available at local emergency centers by expertly trained nurse examiners. (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE))  


    • Preserve evidence

      • Don’t shower, bathe, wash your hands or use the toilet or clean up in any way. The examiner will guide you through the steps to evidence collection.

      • Don’t change or destroy your clothing, they may be evidence.

      • If the assault happened in your home, don’t clean up.


    • Follow-up care for several weeks afterward will be recommended.  Clinics like myHealth for Teens and Young Adults 952.474.3251 will be a positive resource for any seeking care following a sexual assault.


    • What about making a report?

      • No one is forced to report, but medical help is still important for you and evidence collection is best if done soon, whether or not you report.

      • If you want to report, call 911 - or-

      • The Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) will assist you during your exam if you choose. -or-

      • Call 612-871-5111 – the advocate from the rape crisis center can offer support.


    • What if I don’t know what happened?

      • “Date rape” or drug facilitated sexual assault is happening.  

        • The most common date rape drug is alcohol.

      • The exam can offer help to prevent sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy.

      • Investigations may help uncover evidence of what happened.

      • Support during any investigation can help you understand and recover.


    • You have rights:

      • The rape crisis centers (SVC) can advise you on your rights.

      • There will be a victim advocate who can guide you through this process if needed.

Put the number for your rape crisis center – (SVC) 612-871-5111 – and MyHealth 952-474-3251 in your phone.  Learn what you can do to prevent situations where you or your friends would be at risk for Sexual assault.  If you think you or a friend have been sexually assaulted, seek care, preserve evidence, and call for support.  Contact   www.rapehelpmn.org for more information.
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