In This Issue


Shots Are Valuable

Do you want to protect your body from deadly diseases? If so, it’s easy. Shots (also called immunizations) are a safe, effective way to help keep your body healthy. It is important to know that some shots require more than one dose be given. Some shots even need to be given yearly, to be effective. An example of a yearly shot would be the Flu (Influenza) shot. Because the type of Flu that is spread around each year can be different, you will need a different type of Flu shot each year to match it. Also, shots work best when they are given at specific ages. Therefore, you must visit your doctor regularly to obtain the shots.

How do shots keep you healthy?

  • Shots protect others by not spreading the disease.
  • Shots help reduce the seriousness of the illness if you do get it.

It’s also great to know that your shots can be given for FREE. So, there is no need for your parents to worry about the cost of the shot. Staying up to date on your shots is very important. Therefore, you should remind your parents to take you to your doctor regularly. Be sure to keep a list of the shots you’ve received along with those you need. Keep this shot record in a safe place and take it with you to each visit. Following these simple steps will help keep you in tip top shape.

Resource: Tennessee Department of Health

Tame Your Temper

Have you ever felt angry in an instant? It’s true that people can go from happy to angry just that quick. Anger is a sequence of events that happen in 1/30th of a second. Now that’s fast. So, it’s important to recognize things that make you angry.

Have you ever thought about what brings you to your boiling point? Anger actually causes your body to respond in certain ways. You may notice your muscles tighten or you begin breathing harder. These are natural responses. Knowing the things that trigger anger will help you deal with the situation.

When something makes you angry:

  • Think first, then try to change the way you react to the situation.
  • Deep breathe, count to ten, relax.
  • Stay calm and be cool. Lashing out never solves issues.
  • Go for a walk.
  • Write your feelings in a journal.

Anger doesn’t always have to be negative. These tips can help you deal with anger in a more positive way. So don’t get hot when something makes you angry…be responsible and stay cool.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Are you getting enough Zzzzzz’s?

Teens are always on the go. Sleep is not always a priority but is very important for staying healthy. Without enough sleep, you are more likely to perform poorly at school or become ill. You could even fall asleep at the wheel causing severe harm.

So how much sleep is enough? The amount of sleep you need changes as you grow. It has been noted by the National Sleep Foundation that the average teen needs 8 ½ to 9 ½ hours of sleep each night. With the right amounts of sleep, your body performs better.

It is also important that you have a regular sleeping pattern. It’s OK to sleep a little later on the weekends. However, limit it to 2-3 hours extra so your sleep pattern stays regular.

What can you do to help improve your sleep?

  1. Do not drink caffeinated drinks after lunch
  2. Do not stay up all night “cramming”. Study in advance.
  3. Try to slow down at night. Relax.
  4. Do not engage in heavy studying or text messaging that will keep your mind stimulated at night.
  5. Use bright lights to help you wake up in the morning.

So remember to follow these tips. Adequate sleep will help you grow and learn.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division of Adult and Community Health

National Sleep Foundation

Coping with Cliques

Are you holding back on approaching someone you'd like to be friends with because you think she's in a group that's out of your league? Are you concerned about whether you'll still be included this year at school or whether you'll feel like an outcast — or worse, be picked on?
Cliques are tight groups that usually have a strict code of membership and ways to act. Instead of focusing on things they have in common, many cliques tend to focus on maintaining their reputation.
Surviving Cliques
Whether you're on the inside or the outside, cliques can make your life tough. But there are ways to cope:

  • Know yourself — and your reputation. If you come across a clique, it's a good opportunity to consider what you and your true friends give each other.
  • Stay involved in activities that make you feel good about yourself. If you're in a clique, don't let the group pressure you into giving up things you love or spending time and money on things that aren't important to you.
  •  Keep your social circles open and diverse. Cliques can be very limiting in the way they control how members look, think, dress and behave. Don't let them make you miss out on getting to know people who may become close friends.
  • Speak out. If you feel your group of friends is turning into a clique, take a stand for your beliefs.
  • Have a mind of your own. Be sensitive to others and don't go along with what you don't believe is right — even if others are doing it.

Want to know the real secret to being popular and having friends? Be a good friend yourself. People who enjoy true and lasting popularity are those who have good friendship skills. Being a friend means being respectful, fair, interested, trustworthy, honest, caring and kind. So if you want to have friends, be just the kind of friend you'd like to have. To read more about how to cope with cliques go to:

Resource: and the Nemours Foundation

Good Teeth = Good Health

Your mouth is a “gateway.” It provides a connection to other parts of the body. It connects to vital parts such as the digestive tract, the brain and circulatory system. Doctors stress the importance of oral health in relation to overall wellness. Some studies suggest that not taking care of your oral health may increase your risk of developing heart disease or suffering a stroke as an adult.

Not stopping dental problems can:

  • Affect your growth and function
  • Distract you from learning and playing because of pain
  • Affect how you feel about yourself
  • Affect your ability to eat and speak
  • Affect your ability to get a job later in life
  • And it can be costly

So do not neglect your mouth, teeth and gums. They are an important part of your body. Remember they affect your overall health and vital body parts. It only takes 10 minutes of your time every day to brush and floss well. 

Here are steps to take care of your oral health:

  • Brush twice daily with fluoride toothpaste
  • Clean between teeth with floss once daily
  • Eat healthy food and limit snacks
  • Drink lots of water with fluoride
  • Chew sugarless gum with Xylitol (a natural sweetener made from plants and safe for all ages)
  • Visit your dentist regularly – every six months

If you are on TennCare you have TENNderCare (EPSDT) dental services until you reach the age of 21. These services include FREE regular six-month checkups, fluoride treatments and sealants.

If you have TennCare call Doral Customer Service at 1-888-233-5935 or visit their Web site at

  • For help finding a dentist
  • For questions about your TennCare dental benefits
  • For help with interpretation and translation
  • For a ride to the dentist

It is important to get your well-care TENNderCare check up every year. Remember, if you are a BlueCare or TennCareSelect member under age 21, these check ups are free.

Mike the Myth Slayer

Myth: Teens who claim to be depressed are weak and moody. They just need to pull themselves together.

Fact: Depression is not a weakness. It is a serious health disorder. Both young people and adults who are depressed need professional treatment. You can get help if you think you are depressed. Most mental health services are covered by BlueCare and TennCareSelect. Remember, you can call us to be sure that the doctor you want to visit is in the network. If you go to a mental health clinic, be sure to say that you have TennCare benefits.

Source: Skills in Youth Suicide Prevention,

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