Teens and parents get answers about ‘BrdsNBz’
Santa Fe, NM (KTSM) — The New Mexico Department of Health Monday becomes the second state in the country to make accurate sexual health information available to anyone with a mobile phone on a statewide basis.
The project, called “BrdsNBz”, combines health education and personalized text messaging to meet the public health needs of New Mexicans.
Teens ages 13 to 19 can text “NMTeen” and parents can text “NMParent” to 66746 to ask questions in either English or Spanish, and a trained health educator will respond within 24 hours.
“The BrdsNBz program takes the sting out of asking important questions for teens about their sexual health,” said Department of Health Secretary Retta Ward, MPH.
57 percent of parents said they feel only somewhat comfortable or very uncomfortable talking with their kids about sex according to a poll commissioned by the Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health (CLAFH), among others.
“This is a great tool,” said Valerie Fisher, Educational Project Officer for the Department Health, Family Planning Program. “It educates and helps break down some of the barriers parents might have talking to their child about sexual health.”
“Responses to New Mexicans are not canned,” said Fisher. “A live person answers your direct questions. It’s like having a text message conversation with a health educator.”
For more information on the program, log onto http://nmhealth.org/phd/fp/tpp-bnb.shtml