New Teen Social Marketing Campaign Launches

Cuyahoga County Board of Health’s Website and Outreach Seeks to Educate Teenagers About Pregnancy and STD Prevention

The Cuyahoga County Board of Health is launching a social marketing campaign designed to educate teenagers (age 14-19) in Cuyahoga County to delay having sex until they’re ready. The name of the Campaign is “216Teens: Plan. Protect. Prevent.”

The goals of the effort are to motivate teens in the County to delay having sex until they’re ready, to educate them about safer sexual behaviors and to increase their use of trusted local health services and resources. The primary components of the campaign are a teen-friendly website, www.216teens.org, and related social media outreach.

The 216Teens website is a place for teenagers to find medically accurate and evidence-based reproductive health information, presented in way that is teen-friendly and engaging. Website content includes information about relationships and communication skills, birth control, sexually transmitted diseases, and the importance of consent, prevention and safer sex behaviors. Other features are a comprehensive glossary, information for LGBTQ youth, advice for parents of teens, and sections about teen rights and responsibilities. A search function that helps teens locate trusted healthcare providers in their own communities is also prominently featured.

Using focus groups and traditional market research, the Board of Health developed a plan to reach county teens where they spend a large portion of their time – on the internet and on their phones. Working with teen advisors in the creative planning phase, the campaign components were designed in a way that interests, educates and engages teens.

“As the first county-wide social marketing effort designed to educate teens about sexual and reproductive health, the 216Teens campaign is groundbreaking,” said Brandy Eaton, Program Supervisor of the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program of the Cuyahoga County Board of Health. “We designed the campaign to be sustainable well into the future. Our work to lower teen pregnancy rates and the spread of STDs will not only benefit the health and wellness of today’s youth, but will also improve the overall health of the entire county.”

Funding for the campaign was made possible by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Adolescent Health as part of a multi-year teen pregnancy prevention program grant awarded in 2015. The campaign is being conducted in parallel with, but separate from school and community based sexual health education programs administered through the Board of Health.

The campaign collaborates and supports efforts in schools, health clinics, nonprofit organizations and others working to improve teen health and reduce the rates of teen pregnancy and spread of sexually transmitted infections. The Board of Health has served as administrating agency of Teen Wellness Initiative Programs since 1997.

To find out more information about any of the campaign launch events, volunteer to help with campaign efforts or for more information, contact Brandy Eaton, Program Supervisor, Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, Cuyahoga County Board of Health at (216) 201-2000 ext. 1327 or beaton@ccbh.net.

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