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WeARE releases reproductive health survey results

WeARE Advocates for Reproductive Education recently conducted a survey on reproductive health for Crow Wing County residents. Crow Wing County is one of 15 counties in Minnesota offering no family planning services, a news release stated. Accordi...

Kate Anderholm, graduate student volunteering with WeARE, managed the survey process including survey development, conducting interviews, collecting and analyzing the data and working with WeARE staff to develop conclusions. Submitted photo
Kate Anderholm, graduate student volunteering with WeARE, managed the survey process including survey development, conducting interviews, collecting and analyzing the data and working with WeARE staff to develop conclusions. Submitted photo

WeARE Advocates for Reproductive Education recently conducted a survey on reproductive health for Crow Wing County residents.

Crow Wing County is one of 15 counties in Minnesota offering no family planning services, a news release stated.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, Crow Wing County has some of the highest pregnancy rates, representing double the state average for 18-19 year olds. Chlamydia rates have risen over 180 percent since 2005 and continue to rise increasing 20 percent from 2015-16.

In an effort to better understand actions that can be taken to reduce this trend, WeARE conducted its needs assessment survey in June.

Local youth respondents reported barriers to reproductive health care, such as cost and peer pressure. They most often find reproductive health information from alternative sources. A significant number identify with a range of gender preference for themselves and their sexual partner(s).

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Only a slight majority of youths reported using any form of contraception during sexual activity, while 78 percent of adult respondents reported a lack of reproductive education and services for youths in Crow Wing County.

Additionally, youths reported they are likely or very likely to use the services to be offered at The Clinic, WeARE's reproductive health care clinic opening in October.

The audience targeted for the survey included adults ages 25 and older and youths ages 18-24. Kate Anderholm, graduate student volunteering with WeARE, managed the survey process including survey development, conducting interviews, collecting and analyzing the data and working with WeARE staff to develop conclusions.

Based on the key findings from this survey, WeARE will develop the following:

• Forums that bring youths and adults together to discuss reproductive health.

• Education on sexually transmitted diseases.

• Programming and clinical services reflective of the needs of those with various sexual preferences and orientations.

• Accurate, scientifically based communications to youths using social media and other youth-focused means.

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• Educate Crow Wing County residents about the lack of county reproductive health services and encourage community action to create change.

• Continued engagement of local youths for further feedback and to guide future programming.

An executive summary of the survey can be found at www.wearebrainerd.org/education .

WeARE is based in Brainerd, where they provide reproductive health education, advocacy and services in Crow Wing County.

Related Topics: CROW WING COUNTY
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