Colorado Sexual Health Initiative (CoSHI)

12 photos of a diverse group of teens and young adults

About CoSHI

The Colorado Sexual Health Initiative (CoSHI) is funded by a Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) grant. CoSHI provides youth with age-appropriate, medically accurate and evidence-based strategies that are proven to help reduce the risk of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

CDHS received federal PREP funding in 2010 to develop a sexual health education program. Each year CDHS awards funding to Human Service agencies and community based organization within Colorado communities. This funding enables the agencies to bring comprehensive sexual health education and programming to young people in Colorado along with trainings for trusted adults who would like to increase their skills in answering questions about sensitive topics.

Comprehensive sexual health education is important because research has shown that it helps youth:

  • Delay the initiation of sex (abstain)
  • Reduce the frequency of sex
  • Reduce the number of new partners
  • Reduce the incidence of unprotected sex

This funding gives Colorado the chance to coordinate initiatives and build upon state law (Colorado's Healthy Youth Act), the state academic content standards for comprehensive health, and a variety of local initiatives addressing sexual health.

Watch a video about the CoSHI program

"Askable adult" workshops for parents and youth-serving professionals

CoSHI offers a workshop on becoming an "askable adult” for foster parents, teachers, court appointed advocates, child welfare staff, parents, grandparents, guardians ad litem, or other youth-serving professionals who may receive questions about sexual health and relationships. 

Beyond the Birds & the Bees is a two-hour workshop intended to help adults develop the skills and knowledge to discuss these topics effectively and become more comfortable answering the questions that young people may ask regarding puberty, sexual health, relationships, consent, and other sensitive topics. 

Sign up for an upcoming workshop and join us to have fun and further develop the skills needed to be a trusted and safe person for the young people in your life.

Supporting gender-expansive youth

A four-hour training for professionals, trusted adults and caregivers on how to provide affirming care for transgender, non-binary and gender-expansive youth. This workshop covers transgender, non-binary and gender-expansive identities, experiences and pronouns; gender-affirming healthcare and caregiving; and the best practices for supporting gender-expansive youth.

This is not an introductory course. We can add extra time and content if your organization needs an introduction to sexual orientation and gender identity, terminology and general LGBTQIA+ inclusivity considerations.

Register for any of the upcoming sessions

  • Thursday, Oct. 13 and Thursday, Oct. 20 — Noon to 2 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov 2 and Wednesday Oct. 20 — 2 to 4 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 6 — 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

CoSHI mini-grants

Please fill this form out if you are interested in receiving information on the process to apply for a mini-grant from the Colorado Sexual Health Initiative (CoSHI). The mini-grants will be between $10,000 and $25,000 and will support counties in the training and technical assistance process of developing a program to offer comprehensive sexual health education to young people in Colorado and the trusted adults who are involved with these young people. The target audience will include youth involved with systems of care (foster care, juvenile justice etc..), those who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of experiencing homelessness, youth who are survivors of human trafficking or at risk of human trafficking and those who are at high risk of unplanned pregnancy, STIs or HIV.

View a webinar about the mini-grant process

Resources for young people

BedsiderProviding accurate and honest information, this online birth control support network helps young people research birth control methods and where to find them.

Planned Parenthood: General sexual health information, a clinic locator and lots of resources for teens, parents and educators. (You can also text "ICYC" to 57890 to get answers to your sexual health questions from a trained educator, or chat with Roo, the sexual health chat bot, online.)

ScarleteenThis website provides a wealth of information for teens and young adults about sexuality, sex and relationships, as well as advice and support, and even a safer sex shop.

Sex, Etc.: Created for teens, by teens, this website provides accurate and honest information to improve teen sexual health, as well as various ways for adolescents to get involved in various campaigns around sexual and reproductive health.

Power to DecideUsing videos, blogs and a sex education resource center, this website delivers quality information about sex, love and relationships for teens, including content authored by teens.

Contact us

CoSHI team
Colorado Department of Human Services CoSHI team

Zoa P. Schescke (she/her/hers), CoSHI administrator
1575 Sherman St., 2nd floor
Denver, CO 80203
303.866.2810
zoa.schescke@state.co.us

Anna Wendt (she/her/hers), CoSHI and tribal youth programs manager
1575 Sherman St., 2nd floor
Denver, CO 80203
720.591.8402
anna.wendt@state.co.us

Theo Isoz (they/them/theirs), CoSHI training manager
1575 Sherman St., 2nd floor
Denver, CO 80203
720.626.9916
theo.isoz@state.co.us

CoSHI funded partners

Mesa County area CoSHI partners
Raquel Barela (she/her/hers) and Gen Morris (she/her/hers)
Phone/text: 970-549-0493
merakicounselingco@gmail.com

Garfield County Department of Human Services (email)

Huerfano County Department of Human Services (email)

We are also supported by organizations in the following areas: Denver, El Paso, Gunnison, Jefferson, Larimer, Moffat and Montrose counties

Information request
Fill out the form below to receive information and updates from PREP and the Colorado Sexual Health Initiative (CoSHI).

This website was supported by Grant #93.092 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. Its contents are solely the responsibility of CoSHI, and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.