Clinic provides low-cost, anonymous help for teens |

Clinic provides low-cost, anonymous help for teens

Teens needing confidential medical services often end up inside a portable building at Nevada County’s HEW complex on Willow Valley Road in Nevada City.

Once there, teens meet with health educators to determine each individual’s needs in an anonymous setting, said Alison Lehman, acting community health director for Nevada County. Students age 12 to 19 can access a variety of health services, including treatment for substance abuse, testing for sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy testing and referrals for mental health treatment.

The partnership between Nevada County and Miners Family Health Center also offers programs on abstinence and pregnancy prevention services, as well as referrals for gynecological procedures.

These services are provided in a setting that protects a student’s anonymity.

Those who come to the clinic to discuss sensitive health issues are encouraged to discuss the issue with their parents, as well, though Lehman said the county isn’t interested in getting into the parental-consent debate enjoined by the Nevada Joint Union High School District.

“Nevada County Community Health distinguishes the parental-consent issue as a parent and school matter,” Lehman said. “We are not in a position to rule on policy for other government bodies.”

Bob Long, executive director of Miners Family Health, said the clinic sees an average of 16 teens daily. The drop-in facility is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from 1 to 4 p.m.

“Not every teen has a parent that’s as caring as you or I,” he said. “Without a place to go, some teens wouldn’t get the care they need.”

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