Tag: webinar

The importance of engaging and coaching parents to reduce adolescent risk

It’s a statistic you’re probably familiar with: 3 out of 4 adolescent deaths in the US today are due to identifiable and preventable risk behaviors. Common risk behaviors that include suicide, substance use, unsafe sexual behaviors and unintentional injuries and violence.

When it comes to keeping our teens safe, the phrase “it takes two to tango” rings especially true. Adolescents need access to a trusted adult in a private setting where they can disclose information that may be detrimental to their health or well-being. That’s where professional risk screening and counseling comes in. If a health care professional is providing risk behavior counseling and a parent isn’t enforcing the same practices and principles at home, it can be a wasted and ineffective effort. Parent influence is so important. Family closeness and attachment have been shown to be one of the most important factors in leading to less drug use, delayed sexual experiences, and fewer suicide attempts in teens.

Sounds complicated? It doesn’t have to be. Encouraging and supporting youth to make safe decisions is truly a partnership. It’s your role as a health professional to call the plays in “practice”, but it’s the role of the parent to coach and shape their children to perform well when it’s game time.

So, how do we most effectively work together?

First, understanding exactly what is happening (and why it is happening) during adolescence and utilizing effective communication strategies can help you support adolescents during this physically and emotionally challenging time.

Then, it’s up to you to equip parents with the understanding, tools and direction to guide their children to smart behaviors that keep them out of harm’s way.

If you need some support and resources for parent coaching, I encourage you to join me and other health care professionals from around the country as we come together to explore how to improve communication and engage parents to reduce adolescent risk.

Register today for the webinar on Thursday, December 8 at 3 p.m.: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/389295664702592514

36 seconds.

According to a JAMA Pediatrics study, that’s how long the average conversation lasted when teens were asked about sexual health during their last annual health maintenance exam. Even more disappointing, the topic was not discussed with 1 out of 3 teens.

I could continue on with more data that supports the adverse reality, but I think it’s time to pause and evaluate. As health care professionals, we have the responsibility to educate, equip and inform our young people when it comes to their sexual health. We play a critical role in further reducing teen pregnancy rates and STIs through the care we provide to adolescent patients.

That’s where our newly developed technology comes in. Launched in February and funded in part by the National Institutes of Health, ACT for Sexual Health was created to provide a safe environment for teens to disclose risky sexual behaviors that will translate into a proactive plan for reproductive health and safer sex—with an end goal of reducing individual STI and pregnancy risk.

The self-paced module engages teens with interactive, evidence-based risk behavior assessment and counseling to gather honest data. The ACT works either independently or with the RAAPS assessment, and provides youth with technology-based behavior counseling, education, behavior change strategies, and a risk-reduction plan tailored to the youth’s stage of change.

One of our favorite product characteristics is the ongoing dialogue. To provide support between visits, an online portal and text messaging option is available to help keep teens on the right track.

ACT for Sexual Health will develop a comprehensive sexual health history, identifying risky behaviors such as:

  • Early onset of sexual activity
  • Multiple sexual partners
  • Not using a condom during last intercourse
  • Not using contraceptives
  • Using drugs or alcohol prior to sex

What are you waiting for? Let’s talk about sex! Click here to read more information about ACT for Sexual Health or schedule a free 20-minute demo.