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 Adolescent and Young Adult Health

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Adolescence (ages 10-17) and young adulthood (ages 18-25) are crucial developmental periods characterized by physical, emotional, and intellectual changes, as well as changes in social roles, relationships, and expectations. 

With funding from the Health Services and Resources Administration (HRSA), Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), AMCHP works with MCH professionals to achieve the following adolescent health goals:

  • Improve the health of women, children, youth, families and children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN)
  • Promote the health of adolescents by strengthening the state-level capacity 
  • Pursue the elimination of health disparities and inequities
  • Advance leadership practices for MCH at the national, state and local levels

Programs and Initiatives 

AYAH NRC.pngAMCHP is a national partner in the Adolescent and Young Adult Health National Resource Center (AYAH Center). With funding support from HRSA's Maternal and Child Health Bureau, the AYAH-NRC supports MCH investments to promote adolescent and young adult (AYA) health through strengthening State Title V MCH programs to better serve the AYA populations. Key partners include The University of California San Francisco - National Adolescent and Young Adult Health Information Center(NAHIC), The University of Minnesota – State Adolescent Health Resource Center (SAHRC), and the University of Vermont – National Improvement Partnership Network(NIPIN). To learn more about the AYAH-NRC, please visit our key partner's websites by clicking on the pictures below.

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Collaboration Aims to Improve Depression Screening and Care for Young People

The Adolescent and Young Adult Health National Resource Center (AYAH-NRC) is pleased to announce that five states will engage in a new collaboration to increase and improve depression screening and follow-up for young people. The inaugural cohort of the AYA Behavioral Health Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (CoIIN) is composed of multidisciplinary teams from Indiana, Minnesota, South Carolina, Vermont, and Wisconsin. The teams will operate through their public health systems (led by state Title V/maternal and child health programs) and primary care systems (led by clinical partners and practices). 

Although depression is increasing among young people, screening rates and referrals to treatment remain low. Clinicians in busy practices often lack the skills to screen for depression, and even when they can find time to do the screening, many are faced with few options for further assessment and treatment for young people and their families. In 2017, 13.3 percent of adolescents aged 12 to 17 (or 3.2 million people) and 13.1 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds (or 4.4 million people) reported having a major depressive episode (MDE) in the past year. According to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 31.5 percent of students had experienced persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness in the past year, while 17.2 percent of high school students had seriously considered attempting suicide – both of which are significant increases over the past 10 years. 

To respond to this growing health crisis, the AYAH-NRC is mobilizing the collaboration to improve depression screening and follow-up for young people through systems-level behavioral health integration in primary care, and by increasing screening rates for MDEs in clinical settings using practice-based quality improvement tools and methods. The goal is to achieve an 80 percent screening rate for MDE in patients ages 12 to 25 using an age-appropriate standardized tool, with documentation of a follow-up plan when screen results are positive. "This collaboration will produce on-the-ground strategies to confront this crisis among young people," said AMCHP CEO Jonathan Webb. 

The teams will address key drivers of unmet behavioral health needs for adolescents and young adults. The CoIIN will foster reciprocal capacity-building in the public health and primary care sectors to improve population health outcomes in primary care settings through the collaboration of state team members and local quality improvement representatives.

From the AYAH National Resource Center: Change Packages to Improve Preventive Visits

nst 1.pngThe Adolescent and Young Adult Health National Resource Center (AYAH-NRC) offers a comprehensive online resource, "Transforming Health Care for Adolescents and Young Adults."

A change package is a set of materials and ideas that guide and enable improvement teams to implement change in their settings. "Transforming Health Care for Adolescents and Young Adults" is an interactive module, housed by the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP), that features three change packages on increasing the receipt of quality preventive visits for adolescents and young adults (AYAs), centered around three National Strategies:

  • 1: Increase Access & Utilization of AYA Preventive Services
  • 2: Improve Quality of AYA Preventive Services (Clinic-Level)
  • 3: Improve State- and Systems-Level Policies and Practice for AYA Preventive Services 

The change packages are data-driven and reflect the firsthand experiences of states in the AYAH Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network. They are organized in a manner that enables efficient spread and adaptation by other states, agencies, and organizations that work towards improving National Performance Measure #10 of the Title V Block Grant (percent of adolescents, ages 12 -17, with a preventive medical visit in the past year), or a similar performance measure related to AYA preventive services. Secondary audiences may include other health care, public health, and/or youth-serving professionals that play a critical role in specific improvement activities related to AYAH.

Before using the module, please complete the three-question survey.

For more information, visit the AYAH-NRC website or contact Iliana White at

AYAH Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (CoIIN) for Adolescent Well-Visits

The AYAH-CoIIN focused on discovering, identifying, and implementing evidence-informed strategies to increase adolescents’ and young adults’ access to preventive health care visits and to improve the quality of these visits.

History of the AYAH CoIIN

The Adolescent and Young Adult Health National Resource Center (AYAH-NRC), with support from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, aims for all adolescents and young adults across the United States to regularly receive high-quality preventive health services. The AYAH-NRC convened a Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (CoIIN) designed to help participants develop and use state partnerships to pursue a common, data-driven agenda to advance access to and quality of preventive health services for adolescents and young adults. Using collaborative learning and quality improvement methods, this second cohort of the AYAH CoIIN drove a series of national strategies to address preventive health care for adolescents and young adults (AYAs).

Each state assembled a team made up of members with a diversity of different experiences including state adolescent health coordinators, Title V directors, clinical practitioners, researchers, health insurance representatives, community partners, and adolescents and young adults themselves. As they worked to tackle health care delivery in their states, teams in both cohorts explored policy and insurance level changes, reviewed measurement strategies, developed training and resources for providers, pursued quality improvement projects, utilized communications and marketing efforts, and partnered with clinics on pilot projects.

For AYAs, preventive health care visits represent a chance to establish healthy habits that will carry into adulthood and to identify and intervene in potential problems particularly related to engagement in risky behaviors and mental health concerns. The AYAH CoIIN tested out ways to improve utilization rates and the experience of care for AYAs. From this exciting work, we know that successfully addressing preventive health care for AYAs required new and creative ideas, collaborations between leaders working in diverse sectors, leadership from young people themselves, and chances to test out and iterate on strategies. 

For more information on the AYAH-CoIIN and the AYAH-NRC, please check out the state team profiles below. Other resources are available in the AYAH-CoIIN Resource Repository


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AYAH Center Bulletin

Check out the AYAH Center's bimonthly bulletin on topics in adolescent and young adult health including:

  • Confidentiality and consent
  • Partnering with private and public payers
  • Training providers and staff
  • Infusing the well-visit into existing initiatives

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Federal Partner Resources

Adolescent Health Podcasts

The Office of Adolescent Health has developed podcasts that feature adolescent health-related topics such as:

  • Creating and sustaining youth leadership councils
  • Engaging fathers
  • Social determinants of health that impact teen pregnancy

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Adolescent Health: Think, Act, Grow

playbook.JPG Adolescent Health: Think, Act, Grow (TAG) is a national call to action to improve adolescent health in the United States. TAG calls upon organizations and individuals to prioritize activities that can support the health and healthy development of all of America's 42 million adolescents. Check out the TAG 2018 Playbook here.

Visit the TAG Playbook Toolkit where you’ll find free TAG resources to help you learn more about how to join TAG and spread the word. View the TAG Playbook Toolkit here.

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Key Infographics

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