Like many organizations, TPPP has often wished for a magic portal or crystal ball to see the future in this uncertain time, but maybe it is time to throw predictions out the window and focus on the here and now. Data, nationally and locally, shows that visits for medical care (of all types) dropped significantly this spring. More recent reports from the Commonwealth Fund detail the rebound in many sectors but the rebound has been smaller for pediatrics, where many teens still receive services such as wellness visits and immunizations.
Even without a pandemic, many adolescents faced significant barriers to the services they need, including transportation, cost and a lack of confidential care. Fear and uncertainty about how to access services or whether the care they need is a priority during the current health crisis only adds to the list.
TPPP is thankful for all of our partners who continue to provide services at this time. We know many of you have gone above and beyond to ensure teens and families have food, housing, internet access, and medical care. We also want to make sure that teens know about these resources and do not delay care whether it is to get birth control and STI testing, counseling or primary care. Over the past two months, we have interviewed a few of the providers in Missouri about how to access care during COVID-19. These short videos are available for you to share with teens, and the community, to decrease fear, anxiety and stigma about healthcare visits now and in the future. Visit TPPP’s YouTube channel for the Care During COVID playlist with the Contraceptive Choice Center, BHR, and Mercy Children’s Hospital in Kansas City You can contact us if you would like to schedule an interview to share information on your services for teens in Missouri.
It may be too early for predictions about what this fall holds for Missouri teens, but TPPP is committed to promoting services and education that support their sexual health no matter what!