TN Health News: October is Let's Talk Month

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The Tennessee Department of Health invites parents and caregivers to take part in Let's Talk Month this October. This annual campaign empowers parents to take advantage of teachable moments every day to talk with their families about healthy relationships.

"Let's Talk Month equips parents with facts, advice and tips to help them grow more comfortable in talking about challenging topics like sexual activity," said TDH Assistant Commissioner for Family Health and Wellness Morgan McDonald, MD. "Watching a TV show, experiencing the birth of a child or hearing a song with suggestive lyrics are all moments parents and their children can use to reinforce the family's values and to discuss sexuality."

Let's Talk month is an ideal time for community agencies, non-profit organizations, schools, mentor and parenting groups, religious organizations, media, health care providers, educators and civic organizations to plan events the promote healthy communication between parent and child.

"Providing an open line of communication for a child gives a parent or guardian the opportunity to foster a healthy and nurturing relationship," said Tennessee Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Director Amber Jackson.

Parents can find tips and other resources for talking with their children and helping them make healthy choices at www.advocatesforyouth.org/parents-sex-ed-center-home?task=view and www.cdc.gov/teenpregnancy/parent-guardian-resources/index.htm.

Teen birth rates in Tennessee have drastically decreased from 53.8 births per 1,000 females aged 15 - 19 in 2008 to 26.6 in 2017. This is due to prevention education programs taking place in schools and communities across the state.

The Tennessee Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program currently funds 13 programs that provide education to youth that promotes self-respect, responsible decision-making and avoidance of sexual risk. For more information, contact the TAPPP program at 615-532-0274 or visit www.tn.gov/health/health-program-areas/fhw/mch-tappp.html.

To learn more about teen pregnancy prevention, visit https://powertodecide.org/what-we-do/information/why-it-matters.

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