As this year’s Women’s History Month ends, I can’t help but be torn between celebration and concern. We have come so far in advancing equity for women, and yet there is still much work to be done.
I remember my mother and aunts couldn’t open bank accounts without their husbands and today youth quickly and easily set up their own accounts via apps on their smartphones, without needing permission from anyone.
Every day at Face to Face we see the strengths of young people in action as they work hard to gain employment, go back to school, and turn their physical and mental health around. It’s a privilege to help them build on those strengths and yet we also see they still need our support as they continue to confront inequity and personal and community violence.
Last week we shared a troubling article from the Washington Post on The Crisis in American Girlhood. The author reported on findings from federal researchers that, “have ramifications for a generation of young women who have endured an extraordinary level of sadness and sexual violence — and present uncharted territory for the health advocates, teachers, counselors and parents who are trying to help them.”
This article both saddens and emboldens me. We can celebrate young women being the first in their family to go to college or opening their own businesses, and at the same time work hard to support them by providing medical care that includes choices and access to mental health care as they continue to fight oppression.
At Face to Face, we are committed to providing confidential, non-judgmental, and youth-centered reproductive health care. We focus on providing medically accurate information so young people can make the best decision for their life plan.
Last year, 16% of our medical and mental health visits were free of charge to uninsured youth, and we will continue to provide free care to those who need it, while also assisting them in enrolling in health insurance coverage whenever possible.
We must help more young people get the support they need to reverse this youth health crisis.
As a 10th grader in the article put it, she is “close friends” with her mother but doesn’t talk about mental health at home. “I haven’t told her too much. And I don’t plan to.”
Sometimes young people need someone outside their family with which to discuss difficult topics and our mental health professionals and health educators are here for that exact reason. Parents and caregivers can also set up appointments with health educators to get support as they talk with their young person. Call our clinic today at 651-772-5555.
And I’d like to send a special thank you to our supporters for working to change the world by investing in girls and women. When we believe, mentor, support, and invest in girls, they contribute to a community of confident women with unlimited possibilities.
PS – If you’d like to cover some of the expenses of those uninsured medical and mental health visits mentioned above, give here today: face2face.org/campaign/donate/
Face to Face | face2face.org
Clinic | 1165 Arcade Street, Saint Paul, MN 55106 | 651-772-5555
SafeZone | 130 E 7th Street, Saint Paul, MN 55101 | 615-224-9644