New Mexico Dept. of Health launches program to help parents and teens have 'the talk'

EL PASO, Texas - It's the conversation some parents dread, sex education.

The New Mexico Department of Health has launched a service that allows parents and teens to ask questions of their own before having "the talk" though cell phones.

The new text message service is called 'BrdsNBz', a play of words from 'the birds and the bees'.

New Mexico Health officials said the service is for young people between the ages 13 and 19.
Here are the instructions:

- Teens text the word 'NMTEEN' to the number 66746 along with a question.

- Within 24 hours they will receive a response from a certified health educator.

The instruction for parents are similar for parents:

- Text the word 'NMPARENT' to the number 66746 along with a question.

Officials say most responses also encourage teens to talk to their parents or a trusted adult.

"It educates teens, they learn some things maybe they didn't know, and it even helps them ask their parents better questions," said Valerie Fisher, Educational Project Officer for the New Mexico Department of Health's Family Planning Program.

The department is working to curb teen pregnancy rates in the state.

In 2011, the state was ranked no. 3 in the country with the most teen births.

"The numbers are declining - we're very proud of that, but New Mexico remains in the top three nationally over the past few years," said Fisher.

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