Letter: State official lauds Healthy Marriages message

4/16/2008

Editor,
I would like to congratulate the United Methodist Conference of Mississippi on joining the fight to strengthen marriages in the State of Mississippi. Studies have shown that a healthy marriage can lead to healthier children, better parent-child relationships, a decrease in poverty and lower crime rates within communities.

For these reasons and many more, the Mississippi Department of Human Services, (MDHS), Division of Economic Assistance established the Healthy Marriage Unit which teaches the concepts of healthy relationships to youth, singles and couples. Through these efforts, we hope to encourage marriage and help couples develop the skills and knowledge they need to form and sustain healthy relationships.

Marriage education can help couples better understand important principles such commitment, acceptance, forgiveness and sacrifice that are known to be associated with healthy relationships. Other benefits of a healthy marriage include:
• Adults who are better providers and who not only earn but save more money
• A longer life expectancy for family members
• Families who are less reliant on government services

In 2007, the MDHS partnered with the Mississippi State Extension Service to help spread the Healthy Marriage message across Mississippi. MDHS also provides funds to many other community and faith-based organizations to provide marriage education for Mississippians.

If you would like to establish a Healthy Marriage coalition within your church or community, call the MDHS Healthy Marriage Unit at 1-800-590-0818 or visit our Web site at http://www.mdhs.state.ms.us/eamarriage.htm.

Donald R. Taylor
Executive Director
Department of Human Services