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The Dearborn Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced a new program to provide free menstrual products to all Dearborn high schools for the upcoming school year. The initiative is part of a DPH partnership with The Pad Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to "creating and cultivating local and global partnerships to end period stigma.”

As part of the partnership, DPH will supply all three public high schools with pads at no cost to the City of Dearborn. The high schools — Fordson, Edsel Ford, and Dearborn High — have a combined student population of roughly 6,500.

Dearborn Director of Public Health Ali Abazeed stated, “Providing free menstrual products to Dearborn students is a crucial and long overdue intervention to ensure that menstruation does not serve as a barrier to a dignified education. Menstruation is a fact of life. Menstrual products are a medical necessity and should be treated as such.”

DPH Fellow Caitlin Sohrabi led the team of summer fellows who launched this intervention and stated the following: “This intervention is about providing medically necessary products where they are needed and signaling to young girls across the city that this department cares about your health and well-being.”

According to Abazeed, the initiative is part of DPH’s commitment to promoting the health of Dearborn residents wherever they live, work, play, and learn.

National figures show that 23% of students have struggled to afford period products, while 70% of students felt their school environment made them feel self-conscious about their period. Four in five menstruating students said they have either missed class time or know someone who missed class time because they did not have access to period products.

“We are deeply grateful for the collaboration of the Dearborn Public Schools (DPS), who have been supportive of this effort from the start,” said Abazeed. “We are committed to working with our partners at DPS to promote healthy and safe learning environments for all students."

DPH is expected to begin supplying the schools with pads at the launch of the academic school year in late August.