South Carolina hopes site matters to teens

Seeing a dearth of ways to reach teenagers about mental health issues, South Carolina has set up a Web site that promises to deliver "matters that matter to teens" in a way that relates more directly to them than other so-called teen health sites.

The Teen Matters Web site (www.teen-matters.com), hosted by five students at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, uses video and graphics to provide teens with information on such topics as suicide, body image, bullies, rape, and drug and alcohol abuse.

Such a site was needed because although teenagers are told all the time to talk to someone if they have problems, they rarely do, said Susan Craft, assistant director of communications for the South Carolina Department of Mental Health. With the emerging Internet culture, however, teens might be more willing to go to the Internet to seek information and help, she said.

And despite a plethora of sites that focus on teen issues, few of them address the teens directly, Craft said.

"I went to about 500 sites that said they were for teens to check them out," she said. "But they were mostly for parents or counselors, and only a very few made any attempt to reach out to the teens directly."

The site officially launched May 7. Craft said her department will visit schools around the state in the fall to encourage them to link the Teen Matters site with their own school sites. Then, the program will be reviewed early next year to analyze attendance and use, and to see if other features, such as chat rooms, should be added to the Web site.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

Featured

  • Federal 100 Awards
    Federal 100 logo

    Nominations for the 2021 Fed 100 are now being accepted

    The deadline for submissions is Dec. 31.

  • Government Innovation Awards
    Government Innovation Awards - https://governmentinnovationawards.com

    Congratulations to the 2020 Rising Stars

    These early-career leaders already are having an outsized impact on government IT.

Stay Connected