Planned Parenthood Toronto has launched a new text messaging service this spring that lets teens connect directly with trained peer volunteers for personalized answers to their sexual health questions. A first in Canada, the text messaging service is targeted to youth aged 13-19 and provides reliable sexual health information directly to teens through their mobile phones.
Teens can anonymously text questions about relationships, birth control, sexually transmitted infections, puberty, or other sexual health topics to 647-933-5399 and receive answers from peer volunteers. A key feature of this new service is that it allows for back-and-forth text conversations between teens and peer volunteers. This means that teens have the opportunity to seek clarification if there’s anything they don’t understand or to ask further questions.
“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.”
Part of Planned Parenthood Toronto’s Teen Health Source, the new texting service is just one way that teens can become informed so they can make choices that work for them. Teen Health Source includes a comprehensive new sexual health website, as well as peer education services. Teens can reach peer volunteers directly by text at 647-933-5399, by phone at 416-961-3200, and by email or MSN instant messenger at firstname.lastname@example.org. Volunteers are available to answer questions 5 days a week, on Monday to Wednesday from 4-9pm and Saturday to Sunday from 12-6pm.