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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Youth Resources...YWCHAC is Thankful

YWCHAC is thankful for the national focus on adolescents and young adults. The Office of Adolescent Health highlights five resources that are providing the nation’s emerging demographic with much needed life altering information.

The transitions occurring in adolescence and young adulthood are a time of growth and vulnerability for young people. Maintaining support through both these periods is important, especially as career and personal pathways become more complex. The Institute of Medicine’s new report, “Investing in the Health and Well-Being of Young Adults,” investigates specific health issues that young adults face and the actions programs and policymakers can take to help. Similarly, “Women and Girls of Color: Addressing Challenges and Expanding Opportunity,” from the White House Council on Women and Girls, shares the successes of evidence-based programming to improve economic and health outcomes for minority girls and women. Both reports recognize the progress that has been made, while highlighting the work that remains to be done.

Schools can use new resources to promote safe spaces for students and help them build healthier relationships, including training for school support personnel to address dating violence (from the National Center for Safe and Supportive Learning Environments) and guidance on preventing sexual violence (from the U.S. Department of Education). Just as safe physical spaces can help prevent in-person bullying and violence, safe online spaces can help prevent cyber bullying. The Federal Trade Commission has a new site with free printed materials targeted to adolescents on preventing cyber bullying. Additionally, the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention have new tip cards on cyber bullying for law enforcement professionals

Flu season typically starts in the fall and peaks around December or January; approximately five to 20 percent of people in the U.S. get the flu each year. Fortunately, you can prevent the flu with the flu vaccine, recommended for everyone six months and older. Flu.gov has many resources to help people stay healthy during flu season, including a flu vaccine locator widget and a handy infographic that explains the different types of flu vaccines and dispels myths about the vaccine. 

Schools play an important role in adolescents’ nutrition. Farm to School programs operate in over 40,000 schools across the United States and expose students to locally grown foods. The Food and Nutrition Service, within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), has developed a new toolkit that walks schools through the processes of starting and growing these programs. Another tool that helps adolescents eat better is USDA's SuperTracker. To supplement this resource, USDA recently released lesson plans high school teachers can use to introduce students to the tool.

The Office of Adolescent Health updated their fact sheets on adolescent healthy relationships, mental health, physical health, reproductive health, and substance abuse. These updated sheets enable visitors to see the health status of adolescents across all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Guam. Visitors can browse the data using either the interactive map or the list of states. Find out how teens in your state fare in measures of health such as tobacco use, physical activity, and more!
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