Many students just wrapped up spring break and eyeing the end of the school year. The spring and summer months can be a great time to provide youth new opportunities to engage in their communities and catch up on their healthcare visits. Use these tips and resources to help adolescents make the most of their out-of-school time.
Give youth a say and let them take action. As adolescents establish their identities, they benefit from leadership roles, work, and other opportunities to develop skills. However, youth aren’t the only ones that benefit from these opportunities – communities have much to gain too. Learn about how giving Chicago youth a say resulted in a reproductive health media campaign that received over one billion media hits, and see how communities around the globe are empowering youth to reach their full potential.
Connect adolescents to high quality care. Preventive care helps people maintain their health and catch potential issues early. Still, nearly one in five adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 received no preventive medical care visits in 2011-12. Learn how the collaboration between schools and the healthcare system in East Baton Rouge, Louisiana resulted in a school-based health center network that provided over 45,000 students with primary & specialty care including behavioral, oral, and vision. Healthcare providers can make sure they’re bringing their A-game to primary care visits with these clinical resource guides and other “Youth Providers 2.0” resources from the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM). They also can direct parents and adolescent patients to SAHM's resource lists on mental health, substance use, confidentiality, reproductive health, and physical and psychosocial development.
Foster healthy habits. Warmer weather brings new options for fruits and vegetables as well as additional time outside. Healthy eating and exercise in the adolescent years can establish healthy habits for years to come. This list of seasonal produce options not only teaches youth and their families about the nutritional value of different fruits and vegetables, but offers them recipe options too. Adolescents can take the challenge to have a more active lifestyle by checking out the President’s Active Lifestyle Award.
For more information on promoting adolescent health throughout the year, check out the action steps and resources in our call-to-action, Adolescent Health: Think, Act, Grow℠ (TAG) and don’t forget about our Adolescent Health Library, which convenes resources on adolescent health from across the federal government.
Article courtesy of the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services, March 2016.