The Door is Open to All: A Free, Confidential Health Resource for Teens

Emma Evans, ’15

Living in New York City, we have access to a multitude of excellent resources aimed at benefiting the teenage community, but finding reputable organizations can be difficult. Fortunately for BHSEC students, Mr. Gagstetter has formed a connection between our school and a well-regarded student resource: The Door. The Door, a non-profit organization in Lower Manhattan (20 minutes from BHSEC on the M21 bus), runs over fifteen absolutely free programs geared towards helping teens succeed in school, at home, at work and in life, all under one roof. All of the services are free, confidential, and provide teens with a sense of autonomy, enabling young adults to take control of their own lives and health.

The Door offers college prep resources, including free SAT/ACT tutoring, and works to find teens jobs and careers.  Additionally, medical services are available for all teens at no cost. The Door’s trained physicians can fill out medical exams, provide physical exams, and treat sick patients.  Their medical services do not stop there: with an appointment, teens can have access to dermatology, including the treatment of acne, nutritional counseling, and an array of dental services without the need for parents or insurance.   

The Door is also a superb sexual health and birth control resource.  Without an appointment or parental supervision, an adolescent can come to The Door for gynecological services, sexually transmitted infection (STI) tests and counseling, pregnancy tests and support. The doctors can supply the patient with a type of birth control that is suitable for their needs and anyone can pick up free condoms at any point during their hours of operations. If need be, emergency contraception is available and the staff is always willing to discusses options — including adoption, prenatal care or termination.  If a teen has any questions about STIs, birth control, relationships or pretty much anything and they do not want to visit the facility, The Door has recently opened up a confidential texting line.  Adolescents can text their questions to 66746 and a professional will respond as soon as possible. This is a great resource and do not be shy: they have assured me that they have heard everything!

BHSEC students are always welcome and regardless of your needs, The Door most likely has a service designed to help you succeed and stay healthy.  In order to use their services, however, you have to become a member.  Membership is free, quick and confidential. Just visit The Door at 555 Broome Street between Varick and Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue) anytime Monday through Friday from 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. To make an appointment or to find out more information, give The Door a call at (212) 941-9090 (extension 3222 for medical and sexual health services) or talk to Mr. Gagstetter.

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