As health care gets more expensive and more people are living with chronic disease, each person has to become more responsible for all aspects of his or her health. Health care has to happen not only in clinics, but in schools, communities, families, and more and more frequently, via the Internet.
Keeping teens socially, emotionally, and physically healthy requires a partnership between families, schools, health care professionals, and communities. The habits teen create as teens will have a huge impact on their health as adults, but as we know, teens rarely receive all the preventive care they need.
Teens need attention and ongoing support in the following areas:
Physical growth and development (Physical and oral health, body image, healthy eating and physical activity)
Social and academic competence (Connectedness with family, peers and community; interpersonalrelationships and school performance)
Emotional well-being (Coping, mood regulation and mental health, sexuality)
Risk reduction (Tobacco, alcohol, drugs, pregnancy, and STIs)
Violence and injury prevention (Safety belt and helmet use, riding in a car with a driver who is using substances, guns, fighting, relationship violence, and bullying)
One of the strategies being used today to help people monitor their own health care is to provide electronic medical records and evidence-based interventions that effectively encourage people to understand their risks, adhere to medications, and change their behavior to prevent as many negative health outcomes as possible.
Coming this year at We're Talking Teen Health at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) is an electronic Wellness Assessment for Youth - called WAY2GO! Thanks to a partnership between the Health Trust, Vive, and PAMF teens will be able to answer questions about their behavior in the domains above and get a personalized health report back with links to a brilliant new service providing free personal health coaching via the web and their cell phones. Stay tuned for more information in the coming months!