This program addresses the health needs of pre-teens and beyond.
In Howard County, from 2014-2018, suicide was the number one cause of death for teens age 15-19. The Health Department developed an evidence-based Youth Suicide Prevention Plan to address the many components of the issue
I Want The Kit (IWTK) - Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) testing kit available free of charge at all HCPSS High Schools. In Howard County, the number of cases of both chlamydia and gonorrhea have nearly doubled in teens ages 15 and up. One in every two sexually-active young people will contract a sexually transmitted infection (STI) before age 25, and many are not even aware they are infected or of the significant risks to their health.
In response, HCHD and HCPSS launched a campaign to inform high school students about the risks of STIs and offer free, confidential screening tests and access to treatment. This initiative, “I Want the Kit” (IWTK), is co-sponsored and funded by a grant from the Maryland Department of Health (MDH).
STI testing kits will be available to students free of charge in the nurse’s office in every high school, ARL, and the Homewood Center. Students requesting the test kit and receiving test results will remain confidential. Test results will be shared only with the student, and if positive, with the Howard County Health Department. The information will not be reported to HCPSS, the student’s parents, or any other person or organization.
TeenHealthMatters is a Howard County Health Department project, that connects teens & parents to resources to stay safe, happy and healthy. The website TeenHealthMatters.org is aimed at teens and the role they can play in their own health decisions. It brings information and resources to teens about whole health, body and mind. Topics incorporated into the site include: Stress, Feeling Down, Nutrition & Well-being, Sex, Sexuality & Safe Relationships, Drugs & Alcohol, and Parents & Teens.
In an effort to prevent and reduce youth usage of tobacco products, the Howard County Health Department has implemented a multi-faceted community program that includes:
Providing outreach and education to retailers to promote awareness of and compliance with youth access laws for tobacco and ESDs.
Restricting and enforcing youth access to tobacco products and ESDs.
Mobilizing community organizations to support tobacco sales compliance laws and to restrict youth access to tobacco products.
Conducting targeted and random inspections/compliance checks of tobacco and ESD retailers.