Last week, Planned Parenthood Toronto launched a new text messaging service that allows teens to directly connect with trained peer volunteers for personalized answers to their sexual health questions.
A first in Canada, this free texting program is targeted at 13-19 year olds and provides factual, straightforward sexual health information directly to teens through their phones. Users can anonymously text questions about relationships, birth control, sexually transmitted infections, puberty, or other sexual health topics.
The program, called ToHealth, allows for back-and-forth texting between teens and volunteers. This conversational component creates clear, comprehensive responses without teens having to follow up with their parents, friends or the often unreliable Internet.
“We're incredibly excited to launch this new service because we know that texting is popular among teens,” said Sarah Hobbs-Blyth, Executive Director, “It became clear that texting is something we needed to offer to make it easier for teens to get sexual information they need and can trust to be accurate. It's important to us at Planned Parenthood Toronto to be on the cutting edge of using new technology to offer innovative programming and services.”
Similar services are offered by a handful of regional Planned Parenthoods in the United States.
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