Planned Parenthood Mid-Hudson Valley Launches Health Text Line for Teens
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact Information: Amanda Moody, Community & Online Organizer
Poughkeepsie, NY – At Planned Parenthood Mid-Hudson Valley, our education team strives to reach young people wherever they are, whenever they need us. In response to the changing ways in which teens are asking questions, we are proud to announce the launch of our new health text line: ICYC (In Case You’re Curious).
Jessie Moore, Sexuality Education Coordinator at PPMHV, explains, "Our education department does a wonderful job educating local teens, but very often teens still have questions after we leave or have questions that they are too embarrassed to ask aloud. Questions about sex, sexuality, birth controls, STIs etc. are very common and teens often look to the internet for answers. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation out there. ICYC allows teens to text a question and receive an honest and accurate answer within 24 hours."
ICYC was created in 2009 by four medical students at the University of Colorado Denver. Since then, it has spread across the nation at a rapid pace. When teens text their questions, they are directed to a trained staff member who can assist them within 24 hours, though often much sooner. Staff answering ICYC texts are able to refer to a manual of more than 1,000 standard responses, vetted and reviewed twice a year by the program’s Quality Management team. In addition, all staff must have worked as trained sex educators for at least a year, participated in training at the Responsible Sex Education Institute and completed training to answer ICYC texts.
This service is completely confidential. Still, ICYC tracks mobile phone numbers through unique IDs so that if someone texts “What if it breaks?” staff can see that they texted about condom use two weeks prior. In addition to the health text line, ICYC also uses its Instagram page (“incaseyourecurious”) to answer frequently texted questions, including “What’s the best birth control?” “Does masturbating give you a disease?” and “How do I tell my parents I’m gay?”
ICYC is a program overseen by Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains and offered to Planned Parenthood affiliates and other partners. We are promoting it locally through an online marketing campaign including Facebook advertising specifically targeting students in the mid-Hudson Valley.
To participate in this new program, simply text PPMHV to 57890 and begin asking your questions!
July 01, 2014
July 31, 2014