National Adolescent Health Month (NAHM) is an annual observance in May that is hosted by the HHS Office of Population Affairs (OPA). Adolescent health encompasses overall well-being for young people to make empowering decisions to live healthy lives.
National Adolescent Health Month™ (NAHM™) is a health observance hosted by the HHS Office of Population Affairs (OPA) each year in May. Since 2022, 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.
OPA recognizes that investing in adolescent health and well-being will generate a “triple benefit” for society: health for young people today, a healthy adult life, and better health for the next generation. During NAHM and all year long, we must connect youth to services and opportunities that build on their strengths and potential.
Adolescent health involves many aspects of health and well-being, including sexual and reproductive health, mental health, community support, and the role of caring adults.
Adolescent health encompasses overall well-being for young people to make empowering decisions to live healthy lives. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) funds NCSD’s adolescent health team to implement the What Works in Schools program by providing technical assistance and capacity building to state leaders in education and health agencies through the Leadership Exchange for Adolescent Health Promotion (LEAHP) project.
Throughout the month of May, NCSD will be sharing resources and tools related to each week’s NAHM theme. These resources are designed for anyone working with youth in any capacity, including providers, school staff and leaders, school-based health centers, health departments, and community organizations. Feel free to bookmark these tools for future reference! To learn more about NCSD’s adolescent health work, check out our webpage.
There’s a different theme for each week of 2023’s National Adolescent Health Month:
Next steps to take to continue supporting adolescent health:
✔ Learn more about The Leadership Exchange for Adolescent Health Promotion (LEAHP) and begin assembling your own multi-sector state team to support your state’s adolescent sexual health programming.
✔ Enroll in LEAHP’s free self-paced virtual course to enhance your learning of best practices to support adolescent sexual health. More information coming soon!
✔ Connect with NCSD’s policy team to learn more about navigating adolescent health focused policies and trends in your state.
✔ Engage with your local community partners (parent organizations, LGBTQ+ coalitions, substance use/mental health agencies, statewide coalitions, etc.)
✔ Join NCSD’s next Day of Action to inform Members of Congress on what is happening in your district and state, and the need to support adequate program funding. Be on the lookout later this year for more information!
✔ Reach out to NCSD’s adolescent health team for collaborative projects, technical assistance support, and guidance on inclusive services for young people in your jurisdictions.
Access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health education and services are key to empowering young people to live healthy lives. These include STI and HIV testing and treatment, contraceptives, and connecting young people to the services that they need.
Toolkit: Adolescent Sexual Health Telemedicine Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Toolkit: Developing a Referral System for Sexual Health Services, 2023
Worsening mental health outcomes have recently been highlighted among young people. Encouraging them to prioritize care for themselves and providing them with the tools and resources to do so is one of the ways we can work to address this crisis. NCSD is proud to share these resources (with young people in mind) in honor of Mental Health Awareness month.
Programs that involve and engage youth are vital to improving adolescent health. Schools and communities can work to provide safe spaces where young people feel supported, heard, and empowered in order to promote positive health outcomes. NCSD observes Sex Ed 4 All Month, powered by SIECUS and national partners, to call on all public and elected officials to advocate for and invest in high-quality, sex education legislation that meets the full needs of young people.
Adults who support adolescent health serve imperative roles in creating programmatic and policy change. Through LEAHP, NCSD continues to provide capacity building assistance and subject matter expertise to state leaders, community partners and policymakers to advance adolescent health policies and practices. Our Adolescent Sexual Health team also put together the Adolescent Health Resource Compendium.
To learn more about the adolescent health work at NCSD, visit our website. For questions around any of these resources, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
National Adolescent Health Month™ or NAHM™ and the logo design are registered trademarks of HHS. Use of these marks without prior approval by HHS is strictly prohibited.