Health Mentor Model
Better Together Hennepin partners with schools, community clinics and youth-serving organizations to offer sexual health and wellbeing programming that is innovative, evidence-informed, comprehensive, and focused on health equity. The health mentor model takes young people’s diverse needs into consideration in order to provide information and resources to help them be healthy, safe and supported.
Through collaborative agreements with community-based clinics, the model embeds sexual health educators in schools and agencies. Specific activities at each location vary depending on needs, resources, and support.
Community-based clinics are uniquely situated to meet the needs of young people who are most affected by health disparities. Over time these clinics have established trust among young people and demonstrated an ability to implement effective programs and supportive services. These clinics partner with their host sites to offer the four tiers of the Health Mentor Model, providing multiple ways in which young people can find answers and support.
Four tiers of support offered by health mentors
- One-to-one health education with referrals
- Small group sessions using youth development principles and evidence-based programs
- Classroom education using evidence-based sexual health curricula
- Systems work to build safe and supportive environments for adolescents
Health Mentor Sites supported by Better Together Hennepin
- Cooper High School, Robbinsdale
- Brooklyn Center High School, Brooklyn Center
- Minneapolis North High School
- Minneapolis Henry High School
- Minneapolis South High School
- Minneapolis Roosevelt High School
- VOA Alternative High School, Minneapolis
- PYC Alternative High School, Minneapolis
- Menlo Park Alternative High School, Minneapolis
- El Colegio High School, Minneapolis
- Richfield High School, Minneapolis
Health Mentor Sites supported by other funders
- Hiawatha Collegiate High School, Minneapolis
- Longfellow Alternative High School, Minneapolis
- Southwest High School, Minneapolis
- Washburn High School, Minneapolis
It's That Easy! parent education
Better Together Hennepin partners with three community agencies to provide education to parents throughout Hennepin County. Raising sexually healthy children requires a combination of strong relationships, open communication, and clear messages regarding values and expectations between young people and parents. While the questions and concerns change with age, the goal remains the same: to raise well-informed young people who make healthy decisions throughout their lives. The It's That Easy! program assists parents in building these skills.
Better Together Hennepin partners provide parent groups with It's That Easy! workshops to help them feel prepared to have these important conversations. If you are interested in scheduling a workshop, please contact Emily Scribner-O’Pray at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will connect you with It's That Easy! educators in your area.
The MyClinic project engages young people, health care professionals, and adolescent health experts to ensure that clinic services meet the specialized needs of adolescents with a focus on sexual health and mental wellbeing. The goal of MyClinic is to improve access to high-quality, adolescent-friendly, trauma-informed, inclusive health and confidential care for young people ages 13-24 in Hennepin County.
To learn more about MyClinic, visit the Adolescent Friendly Clinics section below.
Supporting youth involved in the justice system
Better Together Hennepin partners with the Family Tree Clinic to provide sexual health education to young people involved in the justice system. The Family Tree Clinic provides educational workshops to youth in the Hennepin County Juvenile Detention Center and at the Hennepin County Home School.
In 2021, Better Together Hennepin and the Family Tree clinic are piloting a new Health Mentor Model program for youth in the Juvenile Justice Division at The Link. If this pilot proves to be successful, Better Together Hennepin will continue to support this important work.