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Free yourself from Depression with 5 steps!

Freedom from Depression… There is a Way Out

There are many challenges in life that can keep a young person feeling like life is a drag. These emotions often occur during adolescent years when we are going through so many changes and both our bodies and minds are starting to develop in to an adult. Gloominess, loss of interest in things that we once loved, anger, and just feeling like this will never end are some of the things we might feel. These are examples of depression.

But guess what, this happens sometimes and it’s okay. We all go through stages of depression in life. The important thing to do is find a way to get yourself out of feeling this way.

  • Acknowledge and Acceptance– Sometimes it is hard to even admit that we might have a problem and may be depressed.  Depression, that can be a scary word. However, like most things, recognizing there is a problem is the first step to recovery. Once you realize it, change it!
  • Switch it Up– Okay, you have recognized it and accepted it now it is time to conquer it. Changing your normal routine can change your mood and attitude. A simple thing like going for a walk after school or work can make you feel better. Or being proactive and making plans to hang out with family or friends. It is important to be around uplifting people who care about you. Being around positive people can really help change your mind set.
  • Get Out There– Motivate yourself to do things you would never do like join a gym or a new club or sport at school. Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone. You may be surprised at the new people you meet. And you will be surprised at the many things you can accomplish.
  • This too Shall Pass- Remind yourself that this is only for a season in life. Whatever you are going through will eventually be over. Things can seem bad now but everything has an ending. Nothing lasts forever and the circumstance you are in today may not be the same one month from now. 
  • You are Awesome! – Think about all of your accomplishments up to now. Remind yourself that you are a pretty great person and take pride in your achievements. You deserve a pat on the back. It is great to think about all the great things you have going on. You will be surprised at what you may have accomplished once you really sit back and think about it.
Great News for Teen Pregnancy Rates in the U.S.!

We hit a new record low this year in the number of teen pregnancies! According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) the number of American teenage girls having babies this past year dropped another 8%, making the new teen pregnancy rate 22 of every 1,000 births were to teenage mothers,  compared to the 2014 rate of 24 of every 1,000. This is great news! 80% of teenage pregnancies are unplanned and can cause a many social, emotional, medical, and economic problems for the teen parents.  

Year after year we hope to see these rates continue to get lower and lower. After all, teen pregnancy is PREVENTABLE, and the numbers are showing we’re learning how to do just that. Abstinence, or not having sex at all, is the only 100% way to prevent pregnancy, however if you do decide to have sex, use a condom and/or a birth control method to make sure pregnancy does not occur. Sex can and should be amazing, fun and exciting, when you decide you’re ready for it. So when you do decide to have sex, take the proper steps to prevent pregnancy. To learn more about preventing pregnancy check out our birth control section.



SI Teen R.A.P.

Why are there so many birth control options?

Throughout time people have used methods to prevent pregnancy; birth control is not a new concept. Today, we have many safe, effective and reversible birth control methods available to us.

Do you know how many birth control options exist? There are about 15 different types of birth control. Abstinence, condoms, the pill, the implant, IUDs (Intra Uterine Devices) and many more just to name a few. You might be wondering why are there so many? How can a person choose? Well I’m about to tell you all you need to know.

It’s extremely important to find a birth control method that works you for, fits your individual needs, and is easy to use. Some birth control options don’t work for everyone, so when you have a variety to choose from, you’re more likely to find one that works best for you. It’s not always easy to find the one that’s best for you, so with some research, talking with your medical provider and possibly some trial and error, you’re bound to find one that works for you. Each option works differently, has different side effects, different costs and different levels of effectiveness. There is a method that works for everyone! To learn more about these options and start your research, check out the Birth Control tab of our website.

And if you’re interested in speaking with a medical provider about any of the options listed, contact us! Call us, text us, walk-in or make an appointment here.

Anna Bindi

Genius ways to sneak in more sleep!

Sleep is crucial for your health. Unfortunately, many of us are not getting the hours that we need. It is essential that we get enough sleep. Sleeping can  help  regulate  the hormones  in  our  bodies,  stabilize  the  fluids and  liquids inside  our  bodies,  and can also help  relieve stress and regulate  heart rate  levels.

Young people, like you and me, are not getting the proper amount of sleep because of many different reasons. Some of those reasons are studying or doing schoolwork into the late night hours, working, or simply going to bed too late. There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to do what we need to do, so we end up sleeping less. So what can be done about this?

Well, the answer is quite simple…. get more sleep! Easier said than done right? The key to this is really better time management. Make all the hours in your day count. Instead of hanging in the cafeteria with friends on your free period, go to the library and do some school work. Instead of staying up late to watch the new Walking Dead episode, skip it and watch it on demand another day. Do whatever you can to make sure that you get at least eight hours of sleep each night. Some simple tips to help you out….don’t have your phone, computer or television on while you sleep, leave a couple of hours between eating and going to bed, keep your room dark and cool, and set a bed time ritual that helps your mind and body get ready for bed. Make your sleep a priority! It’s more important than you think.

Tireek Rattler

How do you know you need Plan B?

Do you know when you would need Plan B? What is it used for? Do you know where you can get it? If you’re not able to answer these questions, we’re here to help!

Plan B is emergency contraception. It is a form of birth control that is used after having unprotected sex. It will prevent pregnancy up to 5 days after having sex. It’s usually called Plan B, but it can also be referred to as the morning after pill or EC.

The following are situations where Plan B could or should be used…

  • If you didn’t use any birth control method
  • The condom that was being used came off or broke during sex
  • You missed an active birth control pill or misused your method of birth control (see for birth control use instructions)
  • If your partner does not pull out in time. (Although we don’t recommend pulling out as a method anyway.)

You can get Plan B from any clinic that provides sexual reproductive health services or it can also be purchased over the counter at drugstores without needing a prescription or proof of age. For more information on Plan B check out .

Shanelle Lopez

How do you get HIV?

HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. HIV is found in blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and breast milk. The virus spreads mainly through unprotected sex/ sexual contact. You can also get HIV by sharing needles. HIV can take up to ten years to show symptoms or get someone really sick. The only way you can ‘tell’ whether or not somebody has the virus is by getting an HIV test. HIV damages your immune system so that one might not be able to fight of common illnesses that someone without HIV would be able to fight off. These illnesses include small things, such as the common cold. HIV cannot be cured. HIV can, in some cases, develop into AIDS. HIV becomes AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) when an HIV-infected persons T-cell count goes below 200 or when they develop one or more opportunistic infections. AIDS requires medical treatment, or it can result in death. You can prevent HIV/AIDS by having protected sex (using male/female condoms), abstinence, and by not sharing needs needles. Make sure to attend Curtis High School’s HIV/AIDS week, February 9- February 12.

Teen Health Educator
Sophomore / CHS

Four proven ways to get rid of stress!

Life is full of ups and downs and stress is a part of life. Sometimes though, stress can be overwhelming!

So what is stress? The Oxford dictionary definition of stress is that it’s “a state of mental or emotional strain and tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances”. To feel stressed out is common and you are not alone. Stress occurs when our nervous system tells the body to release a flood of stress hormones. It’s very normal to feel or be stressed—it’s our body’s reaction to a demanding task.

There are many things that can cause stress—school, friends, work, family, finances, etc. There are also many things you can do to not feel stressed out. As a teenager, most of us are in the midst of taking finals, regents or other exams. I definitely feel the stress and I know a lot of you out there do too.

Here are some of my tips to dealing with stress:

Stop Over Thinking. Take a break and breathe. Find things that require a lot of thoughtless action such as singing, dancing, looking at the stars, reading, and listening to music.

Diet & Sleep. Our eating habits play a huge role in how stressed we are. Are you eating enough and staying healthy? Are you catching enough zzzz’s? Try eating right and drinking more water. Water is not only good for your body when you’re feeling stressed, but really good for you in general. In fact, the human body is 70% water!

Environment. Is your environment toxic? Try to be aware of what you are surrounded by. Environment plays a major role in your mental health. Your environment can include your friends and family, the music you listen to, social media, and a bunch of other things. Sometimes it can be the people closest to you that are the most toxic. This could be a tough situation to deal with but if they are causing you more stress than peace, it might be time to take a break and give yourself space.

Spirituality. Getting in tune with your spirituality helps with your stress level and mental state. Meditating or praying is such an easy way to stay stress free. It’s also free! If meditation or prayer is not for you, try yoga or another form of light exercise that will help you stay calm and stress free.

Remember your life isn’t has hard as you may think it is. Stay positive and good luck on those exams!

Teen Health Educator
Senior / CHS

How many people have an STD?

There are many rumors about Sexually Transmitted Disease rates. I found some facts that may help you open your eyes and realize that anybody can get an STD. As an adolescent, we must try our best to keep ourselves aware of what we are exposed to—some STDs like Herpes, HIV, HPV, & Hepatitis never go away. Young people ages 15-24 are also infected with half of all new STD infections that happen every year in the United States. This is really crazy because we only make up a quarter of the total population!

There are about 20 million new cases of STDs each year in the United States. HPV and Chlamydia are the most common and may often have long term consequences. Luckily, there is a vaccine for HPV that can help you from catching some of the serious strains. Although there is no vaccine for Chlamydia, there is a simple test and an even easier cure if you are infected.

Some STDs have been causing more infections than normal. For the first time since 2006, there has been an increase in new cases of Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, & Syphilis. Many youth don’t know they have these infections because they often don’t have symptoms. In other words, you have the infection in your body but you don’t feel sick or see anything unusual! Getting tested is the only way to know for sure if you have an STD. And of course, if you are going to have sex, use condoms every time!

Teen Health Educator
Sophomore / CHS


How much do STD tests cost?

STD testing is free for teens in New York City. They don’t cost not one dime. Even if you don’t have health insurance you can still get the services for free or on a sliding scale (which means it will be really cheap). The tests are also always confidential. No one has to know!

You can get tested in your high school if it has a clinic. New Dorp High School, Port Richmond High School & Curtis High School in Staten Island ALL have student based health centers. If you don’t want to go to your school’s clinic, you can always find a local health clinic (like Teen R.A.P in Staten Island).

STD testing is especially important for teenagers who are sexually active and want to be protected. If you are thinking of becoming sexually active, STD testing is a very important first step. You don’t want to get an infection just because you trusted your partner’s word. ITS FREE, FREE, AND FREE. So why not get tested today? IT’S ALWAYS A SAFE BET!! There are several STD testing centers all over New York City, so find a center today!

Teen Health Educator
Sophomore / CHS

Do you know what Domestic Violence is?

A total of 317 domestic violence (DV) awareness surveys were completed during the Teen Health Educator’s tabling event in October. The majority of people who took the survey answered that they knew what domestic violence was (96%). Many students also knew someone else who had experienced domestic violence (42%). To bring awareness you can educate your friends on this matter. Although students checked off that they knew in general what DV was, many did not know about the specific forms of domestic violence. 23% of students answered that physical abuse is the only form of domestic violence. Additionally, even though the question asking about the specific forms of DV clearly instructed the participant to choose only one answer, a number of students chose more than one—leaving us to throw the question out several times. This shows a sense of confusion and a lack of knowledge on what exactly Domestic Violence is.  Many students also said they knew where to go if they or someone they knew were experiencing domestic violence. Still, a lot of people did not know. The majority of students also believed that the age of women most likely to experience domestic violence was 18 to 34, which is correct. Although some students were right, others had false information that needed to be corrected. Finally, 23% of students stated that they did not know where to go for help if needed. The data from our surveys show a lack of education and a real need for more awareness and resources.

Winner Evu
Teen Health Educator



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Do you know what domestic violence is? Total: 307

Yes: 296
No: 11

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What of the following is a form of Domestic Violence?  Total: 301

  1. Stalking: 0
  2. Physical Abuse: 68
  3. Verbal Abuse: 6
  4. Emotional Abuse:1
  5. All of the above: 226 [CORRECT ANSWER]

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What age group of women is most likely to experience Domestic Violence? Total: 311

  1. 6 to 10: 4
  2. 11 to 17: 78
  3. 18 to 34: 210 [CORRECT ANSWER]
  4. 35 to 50: 19

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Do you know anyone who has experienced Domestic Violence? Total: 317

Yes: 132
No: 185

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If you or someone else is experiencing Domestic Violence, would you know where to go?

Total: 289
Yes: 229
No: 52