About Us – Michigan
Why Beforeplay.org in Michigan?
Approximately 54 percent of pregnancies in Michigan are unintended. We’re striving to decrease this through assisting men and women of childbearing ages with access to quality health care and education prior pregnancy. This is a critical step in improving health outcomes in Northern Michigan and Beforeplay.org provides us with the framework and materials to help make this happen. We’re using Beforeplay.org to promote good sexual and reproductive health and well-being, and to help “normalize” conversations around pregnancy, birth control, STDs/STIs, and sexuality in our communities.
None of it would be possible without funding from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services through a Title X Family Planning Community Outreach Grant, and the support of local public health departments and the Northern Michigan Public Health Alliance. Project oversight and additional financial support has been provided by District Health Department #10.
We’ve partnered with local public health departments, universities, community coalitions, community organizations and the Northern Michigan Perinatal Integration Regional Workgroup to launch “Just Talk About It,” a campaign that encourages people to take action to protect their own health and plan for becoming a parent. The campaign proved so successful, that 35 counties from the Northern Michigan Public Health Alliance signed on to the campaign. Recently, people in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, West Michigan, the Tri-cities and the U.P. are also sharing the campaign information to promote sexual health education.
How Beforeplay.org is Helping Michigan
We’re able to take the foundation from the Colorado campaign and extend to Michigan. We’re able to use the brand as a starting point for talking to 18-29 year olds in Michigan by reusing all brand assets (name, visual identity, branding materials, swag, the list goes on and on!) and directing Michiganders to an existing website rather than starting from scratch. The website continues to be a hub of sexual health information to educate our audience so they feel informed and are encouraged to have positive conversations around sexual health.
Wear One Program
Beforeplay.org in Michigan partnered with the Wear One Campaign out of Ottawa County to provide more free condoms to Northern Michigan. Wear One’s goal is to decrease STIs and unplanned pregnancies by removing barriers like cost, embarrassment and lack of access. How? By working with local businesses and agencies to provide access to free condoms at over 60 locations.
Sexual Health Ambassadors
Northern Michigan also works with over 20 Sexual Health Ambassadors to support efforts to improve reproductive health. These 15-29 year olds have been trained in sexual health in Northern Michigan and use Beforeplay.org’s tools to start conversations in their communities about Birth Control, STDs, and Pregnancy. Armed with games, free condoms and Safe is Sexy t-shirts, our Sexual Health Ambassadors hit the streets with health educators and health department staff each summer to talk to other young people about sexual health.
Sexual Health Ambassadors 3.0 are looking forward to talking about sex in summer 2019.