Each May, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Population Affairs (OPA) hosts the National Adolescent Health Month™ (NAHM). This annual observance has emphasized the importance of building on young people’s strengths and potential, encouraging meaningful youth engagement in adolescent health activities, and highlighting key topics in adolescent health.
Adolescent health encompasses changing transitions within multiple physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and intellectual domains. The fast-paced development of these different domains can lead to phenomenal growth during this period. This growth can also occur at different rates, putting adolescents at a higher risk for risk-taking behaviors and emerging mental health issues. It is important to understand adolescent development, environmental influences, and the risk and protective factors that can affect adolescent health so that organizations and individuals who work with youth can support the health and healthy development of all adolescents. (more…)