Schools in the Keys host their annual health fairs

Many new and unique issues are facing teens today. Wellness Fairs hosted at many schools in Monroe County were successful in helping students find solutions to these issues and understand them better. The Key West High School Wellness Fair will took place on March 5th and entry was free to all KWHS students. These wellness fairs were created by a collaborative community partnership that includes Womankind, Monroe County Health Department, AHEC, AFSP, RHN, Guidance Care Center, Domestic Abuse Shelter, Project Lighthouse, and others.

Photo taken by Kelci Grooms

These fairs aimed to help teens get through the many issues they face today. This includes social media overuse, mental illness, bullying, peer pressure, drug and alcohol abuse, sexual activity, STIs and pregnancy, obesity, and stress from academics. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that teens age 12-20 consume 11% of alcohol in the United States, and the National Institute of Drug Abuse found that 37.3% of 12th graders have vaped in the past year, and 6% reported daily use of marijuana.

According to Womankind’s website their mission is, “To help Florida Keys teens recognize healthy and unhealthy choices, know what resources are available, and make it easy for them to reach out for help when they need it.” These fairs showcased the many health resources that are available for teens in Monroe County. They also provide students a way to explore topics they may feel too anxious to ask about otherwise. Some resources were health-related, and others were about things that are both fun and safe for teens: places to go on weekends, entertaining but healthy ways to spend their afternoons, and cheaper activities that they can enjoy with their friends. The Wellness Fair at Key West High School took place on March 5th with a positive reaction from the students.

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