What is SAASH?
South Carolina’s State Alliance for Adolescent Sexual Health. It is comprised of committed stakeholders dedicated to the health and well-being of our valuable youth.
What is the mission of SAASH?
Building our state’s capacity to integrate programs and strengthen partnerships around adolescent sexual health issues
What is sexual health?
- The integration of the physical, emotional, intellectual, and social aspects of sexual well-being in ways that are positively enriching and that enhance personality, communication, and love.
- It includes the following:
- the physical aspects of sexual development and reproductive health,
- valuing one’s own body
- developing interpersonal skills to achieve meaningful relationships,
- interacting with others in a manner that reflects respect and equality, and
- expressing love and intimacy free of coercion, discrimination, and violence.
- It encompasses the following areas:
- teen pregnancy prevention
- HIV/STI prevention
- sexual violence prevention
- disparities related to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth(LGBTQ) population, and
- health disparities related to race, ethnicity, physical ability, and socioeconomic status.
What is the background of SAASH?
In 2007 a team from SC with representatives from the SC Department of Education and the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control’s divisions of Women and Children’s Services and STD/HIV, participated in a national stakeholders meeting sponsored by the National Stakeholders Collaborative (NSC). The NSC is comprised of four national membership organizations: the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs; the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors; the National Coalition of STD Directors; and the Society of State Directors of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation. As a result of their participation, the SC team formed SAASH as an integrated, statewide, youth-focused sexual & reproductive health coalition. Members were recruited from various state agencies, including the SC Budget and Control Board, the School Boards Association, the New Morning Foundation, the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, the South Carolina Public Health Institute, and the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health.
Why Is This Collaboration Important?
Health and education disparities are often influenced by the same root causes:
- Lack of access to prevention services/education
- Lack of quality prevention services/education
- Stigma and discrimination, including racism and homophobia
- Socioeconomic factors, including poverty
- Lack of funding:
- Inadequate resources often limit the potential of education and health efforts.
- Lack of supportive policy:
- Policies based on ideology often limit the potential of education and health efforts.
It will take a cross section of South Carolinians, bringing their knowledge, skills, and unique perspectives to the table, in order to impact the above. But what a difference it could make for the health and well-being of our youth, today and tomorrow.
Let’s connect, commit, collaborate, and make a difference.
The Alliance is in the process of taking an inventory of existing SC programs addressing adolescent sexual health issues. It is our plan to make the inventory available, via this website, to service providers and other interested parties. Please download, complete, and submit the Program Inventory Form. (If you do not want to be included in the inventory on the internet, let us know and we will not publish your information. We will, however, keep you updated on SAASH.)