HEALTH FOR THE WORLD'S ADOLESCENTS

A second chance in the second decade

Working with other sectors

Phone

Key points

  • Healthy adolescents are key to the aims of many sectors—health, education, employment and justice, for example—and their actions are key to adolescent health.
  • Schools can go beyond health education to offer a social environment that encourages good physical and mental health.
  • Preventing violence and improving road safety are crucial to increase adolescents’ physical safety.
  • For adolescents, social norms are particularly important. The mass media can help to encourage healthier norms.
  • Work can offer opportunities for adolescent development—provided it is safe and not exploitative.
  • Collaboration among sectors can promote the health, development and rights of adolescents.

Many sectors must contribute

The activities of many sectors, in particular education, contribute to the health of adolescents. The health sector needs to recognize, advocate, mobilize, support and strengthen collaboration with those sectors whose activities have an impact on adolescent health and development. At the same time, healthy adolescents are key to the success of other sectors’ aims—for example, education and employment.

This section highlights some of the important work carried out by other sectors that helps improve and maintain the health of adolescents. It emphasizes the need for collaboration between sectors and the importance of strategies that work through multiple settings, for example, schools, communities and families.

For me, to be in good health means above all to have a family. I think that health is not only a physical thing but also mental because if you are surrounded by family or by people who love you, that can allow you to always be in good health (to smile, to be in a good mood)

female, 18-19, Gabon

I don’t talk about my difficulties. I use sports as a way to feel relief from all the bad things that have happened and happen to me, etc.

male, 18-19, Chile

Ensure sexual education in all schools and give out contraceptives for free, as sexual issues are the biggest health problems faced by adolescents, venereal diseases, unwanted pregnancies, HIV.

Gender not specified, 15-17, Chile

School stresses me out, and as a result I have been careless with my health, my diet, etc.

female, 18-19, Peru

Adolescents on what can be done to improve health services: Improve and create more facilities, such as more primary health care centres in schools, community centres (that work well); encourage sports and extracurricular activities to help adolescents clear their minds.

female, 18-19, Venezuela

Life is difficult, especially when you’re young and you have to be sitting down all the time. I feel that my body is being destroyed at school because I am forced to stay seated all day.

male, 18-19, Canada

Wide-scale action promoting sport: built-up of the network of bicycle paths and bicycle rents, discounts to sports centres, support from teachers to students who participate in sport competitions, varied and more inclusive physical education classes (overweight or disabled students too frequently find excuses to avoid exercises) 2) Increasing the awareness of importance of physical health and its relation to mental condition - by school education and social campaigns 3) Creating alternatives - youth needs to understand that getting drunk or taking tobacco/other drugs is not a good way to build up one's position among peers.

female, 18-19, Poland

I think the way we know about the issues that affect us should be much better done, like at schools and on internet instead of just on hospitals.

female, 18-19, Brazil

Through school, as it is where we spend a lot of time, government initiatives of school wide health awareness should be somewhat compulsory, such as having speakers come to your school, organised by the government to choose from what organisation they come from, or your school, to speak about relevant health issues to students, from an understandable viewpoint. It is more effective than reading a pamphlet.

female, 15-17, Australia

I do not find enough time to perform sports and I find handy, unhealthy food in front of me

female, 18-19, Saudi Arabia

I think that schools should do more than sport classes to improve their students health. Teaching the students how to cook healthy meals would be one of those things.

female, 18-19, Germany

When someone in my family, especially my mother, or a close friend shows their support for me.

female, 15-17, Paraguay

Through school, as it is where we spend a lot of time, government initiatives of school wide health awareness should be somewhat compulsory, such as having speakers come to your school, organised by the government to choose from what organisation they come from, or your school, to speak about relevant health issues to students, from an understandable viewpoint. It is more effective than reading a pamphlet.

female, 15-17, Australia