October 2, 2018 (Chapel Hill, N.C.) – Today, MyHealthEd, Inc. releases its newest version of Real Talk, a mobile app that uses authentic teen stories to make sex education modern, relevant, and engaging, as the tech nonprofit celebrates the one year anniversary of Real Talk’s beta release. Real Talk delivers crowdsourced stories about healthy relationships, puberty, and sexual health directly to teens, on their phones. The latest update includes a new chatbot story submission feature that was developed in response to overwhelming interest by teens to share their own stories via the app.
In a time when only 13 states require medically accurate sex education in schools and only 10 states mention topics like “healthy relationships” or “consent” in their curriculum, teens are increasingly learning about sex and relationships from pornography. Real Talk launches at a critical point to ensure all teens can access high quality sexual health information and resources, short-circuiting institutional barriers to access by delivering content through a mobile app.
Real Talk reaches teen where they are: using real experiences from others like them via the privacy of their own phones. All stories are written by real teens and reviewed by public health experts before being published to the app. Each story is also paired with high quality, online sexual health resources for teens to learn more about each topic. Users can support others in the app through emoji reactions and search for topics relevant to them.
After successfully field testing the beta app with thousands of teens in 2017, the team is ready to expand through a national public launch with enhanced features. This update will also help even more teens access this essential health information, especially in places where high quality sex education currently isn’t available.
One 13 year old Real Talk user from Mississippi said, “My favorite thing about Real Talk is how you are able to read other peoples experiences with problems or feelings you are dealing with and know that you are not alone.” Other users report the same: that Real Talk provides a safe, judgement-free environment to share and learn about these important topics.
“We are thrilled to see the community of teens we’ve built through Real Talk.” says Cristina Leos, a co-founder of Real Talk. “With more than 1 in 3 users identifying as LGBTQ+ and nearly 70% of them living in states that do not require medically accurate sex education in schools, we’re addressing an important need in the lives of young people all over the country. We can’t wait to bring Real Talk to even more teens.”
With funding from the U.S. Office of Adolescent Health (Grant #: TP2AH000023-02-00), the Aetna Foundation, and Google.org, Real Talk was founded by a team of women - Cristina Leos, Vichi Jagannathan, and Liz Chen. Real Talk’s parent organization, MyHealthEd, Inc., is dedicated to using human-centered design to improve the health and well-being of youth of every identity.
For more information, visit www.realtalkapp.com.
About MyHealthEd, Inc. MyHealthEd, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to using human-centered design to improve the health and well-being of youth of every identity. Their flagship product, Real Talk, was founded in 2016 by Liz Chen, Cristina Leos, and Vichi Jagannathan, in efforts to increase access to sex education in low-income and rural communities. The organization is based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. For more information, visit www.myhealthed.org.
Media Contact: Vichi Jagannathan, Co-Founder
Phone: (845) 702-6802