May 2, 2017
Think back to when you were a teen. Would you say you were comfortable opening up to your doctor about sensitive topics like sexual health, mental health, or drug and alcohol use? Who didn’t cringe at the dreaded questions like “are you sexually active” or “could you be pregnant?” In fact, this uncomfortable feeling with telling your doctor the whole truth about your health may have even followed you into adulthood.
Aryce Huffman is a senior at Milwaukee School of Languages and a teen educator with PATCH, an organization dedicated to improving adolescent health and wellbeing by engaging, educating, and empowering youth and providers as trusted partners in care. In her role as teen educator, Aryce and her PATCH peers work with doctors and care providers on the best way to interact with teenaged patients. Drawing on her personal experience managing a disease as a teen, Aryce talks frankly about what providers do wrong when interacting with young people, and what teens need to do to get over the embarrassment and take control of their health.
We also talk with Patrice Harris, Program Coordinator for PATCH, about the challenges in educating providers about working with teens, particularly around sexual and mental health.
Bailey Murph, United Way’s Health Portfolio Manager, sits on the board for PATCH. Learn more about the work of PATCH and about United Way’s programs in the impact area of Health.
Feeling inspired? Volunteer at United Way’s upcoming Field Days in Waukesha and Milwaukee, where local students will cycle through fun stations to learn more about living a healthy life.