School-based health centers (SBHCs) typically serve students in grades 6-12. They provide access to primary and preventative health care, including family planning and other reproductive health services.1 2 SBHCs eliminate financial and logistical barriers because they offer services free or at reduced cost and are located in or near schools, and eliminate the need for students to find transportation to make appointments. SBHCs are often sited in under-resourced communities and therefore help those who are uninsured or underinsured or are low-income.
SBHC policies and practices must align with parent consent rules and relevant state laws and policies. Although students who attend schools with SBHCs that offer family planning services have greater contraceptive use and fewer unintended pregnancies, many adolescents do not receive family planning care for a variety of reasons, including a lack of awareness about the SBHC.3
Effective ways to increase utilization include:
Some children are more likely to develop anxiety or depression when they experience trauma or stress, when they are maltreated, when they are bullied or rejected by other children, or when their own parents have anxiety or depression.
In addition to avoiding childhood traumas, here are some healthy behaviors that may help prevent mental disorders:
A study by Child Trends concluded that "SBHCs provide access to and information on family planning services for adolescents. However, the benefits that SBHCs offer may remain unrealized if students are unaware of all services offered. Investing in outreach efforts can help SBHCs ensure that students are accessing needed family planning services.”
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1Arenson M, Hudson PJ, Lee N, Lai B. The Evidence on School-Based Health Centers: A Review. Glob Pediatr Health. 2019;6:2333794X19828745. Published 2019 Feb 19. doi:10.1177/2333794X19828745
2Kim L , Ciaravino S, Parekh J, Manlove J. Promising Practices for Expanding Students’ Awareness and Use of School-based Family Planning Services. Child Trends. 15 February, 2022
3Boonstra H. Meeting the Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs of Adolescents in School-Based Health Centers Guttmacher Policy Review. Winter 2015 | Vol. 18, No. 1