BrdsNBz, a sexual health education texting service for teenagers and their parents, was launched by the New Mexico Department of Health, MobiHealthNews reports. Short for “birds and bees,” the service offers teens an alternative to their parents if they need to learn more about sexual health.
Available in English and Spanish, the service also lets parents ask questions about how to talk with their children about sex. The service is based on a similar program from the North Carolina health department launched in 2009.
“A lot of time people don’t want to ask questions because they think ‘I should know this’, or they think ‘If I don’t know this, it’s out of sight/out of mind’,” Educational Project Officer for the Family Planning Program Valerie Fisher said in a press release. “This program will hopefully cut through a lot of that anxiety.”
The teen birth rates in New Mexico have been declining over the past few years, according to Fisher, but New Mexico is still in the top three for teen birth rates nationally. To take part in the program teens text “NMTeen” and parents text “NMParent” to the hotline, 66746, and a trained health educator will respond within 24 hours.