Straight Talk Not Just for Teens

Straight Talk Not Just for Teens

Teen Straight Talk, a free program designed to motivate adults and their children to talk about topics such as abstinence, teen pressures, sex education and responsible decision making, will be presented from noon to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 1 at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Academic Classroom Building, 3601 Fourth St.Teen Straight Talk is a community-based program supported by more than 60 community organizations, businesses and individuals. Linda Brice, R.N., Ph.D., event co-chair, said the project is an essential “ice breaker” between teens, tweens and their parents or guardians. {{more}}”It will take education of our youth to help decrease the high rate of teen pregnancy and STDs in the Lubbock community,” Brice said. “This education is going to become even more important if the City of Lubbock Health Department closes its STD Clinic, and because Lubbock high school students are no longer required to take a health class, which was where teens were taught abstinence education.” Many adults and the children they care for want to talk about these topics but are not sure what to say or what questions to ask or where to find the resources they need to conduct these conversations, said Kathleen McPherson, event co-chair.“Teen Straight Talk initially began as a program for teens and their parents and guardians, but it has grown to include preteens, young adults, single adults and seniors,” McPherson said. “Our medical professionals have been invited to give presentations at Texas Tech, at churches and to other groups. The subjects that are presented by Teen Straight Talk have no age boundaries.” This program is divided into two major parts. The first part of the program is presented by professional counselors, TTUHSC faculty and psychologists from the Lubbock community and surrounding areas of West Texas, and allows for open discussions on topics listed below that have lead to the high rate of teen problems such as depression, eating disorders, suicides, drug and alcohol abuse and sometimes teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases : * Teen pressures * Dealing with peer pressures * Sexuality * Body image and good nutrition * Self-esteem * Depression and suicideThe second part of Teen Straight Talk presents the “Big Decision,” which is a comprehensive sex education program provided by TTUHSC obstetrics and gynecology faculty and Residents, TTUHSC medical students, TTUHSC nursing faculty and nursing students. This program helps to open the lines of communication by instructing with pictures, diagrams and dialogue, along with providing resource materials for adults and adolescents on topics: * Abstinence * Male and female anatomy * Sexual responsibility and consequences * Teen pregnancy * Sexually transmitted diseases * Contraceptives and protection * Community resources Numerous community programs will have booths to explain their available resources. Free HIV, Chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis testing will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free child care and lunch for children under age 10 will be available. Since the program began, Teen Straight Talk has provided comprehensive sex education and education about dealing with teen pressures to more than 2,200 parents, grandparents, foster parents, youth leaders, nurses, teachers and adults who work with children, along with teens and tweens from the Lubbock community.For more information, contact Teen Straight Talk Co-Chairs McPherson at 743-2463, ext. 229 or email kathleen.mcpherson@ttuhsc.edu or Brice at 241-3652 or linda.brice@ttuhsc.edu.