We're excited to present this blog entry as we approach Mental Health Awareness Month in May. Here at the Adolescent & Young Adult Health National Resource Center (AYAH-NRC), we have a lot to learn from this community of adolescent health champions. We also have a lot to offer partners like you, such as:
- Outreach to the state Maternal and Child Health (MCH) workforce and their colleagues based on adolescent and young adult (AYA) priorities identified in Title V Needs Assessments.
- Responsive training and technical assistance to states ranging from topical learning communities and webinars to mentor "matchmaking" to long-term project consulting.
- Support with continuous quality improvement measurement.
- Translation of new research into best practice recommendations and other communications (including this blog!)
Recent resources, for example, include:
- A report highlighting mental health interventions for college-aged young adults, from our partners at Young Invincibles.
- Information and resources available on our behavioral health quality improvement project (using the Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network or "CoIIN" model) including several webinars.
"What is AYAH-NRC in the vast national landscape of adolescent health funders and practitioners?"
We thought you'd never ask. The AYAH-NRC ("The Center") is basically a national-level adolescent health collaborative in the U.S. Each of our four partners that make up The Center bring complementary expertise and relationships. The Center is a partnership of the National Adolescent Health Information Center (University of California San Francisco), the Association for Maternal and Child Health Programs, the National Improvement Partnership Network (University of Vermont), and the State Adolescent Health Resource Center (University of Minnesota).
We joined forces in 2014 to improve the health of adolescents and young adults (AYAs) by strengthening the capacity of State Title V MCH Programs and partners to address the needs of AYAs (ages 10-25), specifically increasing receipt of a quality annual well visit (or "preventive visit" or "check-up").
Our 2018-2023 programmatic priorities – based on what the research is telling us about the best ways to improve AYA health – are ongoing focus on well visits and increasing our nation's focus on young adult health in state-level initiatives.
One of the few upsides to the COVID-19 pandemic is that it's reminding us all that better access to and uptake of mental and behavioral health services is a great way to both increase and enrich AYA Well Visits. We also see mental and behavioral health screenings as a crucial lens through which to prioritize AYAs for age-specific interventions. Indeed, our "CoIIN" has focused on depression screening and follow up since 2018.
Over the past year, the Center has responded to the challenges brought on by the pandemic by adapting our technical assistance (e.g., focusing on telehealth), and creating resources to advance AYA health in our priority areas. We'd love it if you checked out some of our COVID-related materials:
- A COVID-19 resource page, featuring sections on clinical resources, telemedicine, vaccinations, mental health, and broader programs and policies.
- A series of webinars focused on the distinct needs of young adults.
- And strategies learned from the pandemic highlighting the challenges and opportunities for adolescents and young adults moving forward.
Reach out to see if we can help you reach your goals! Contact us at email@example.com.