he mission of the Adolescent Health Services program is to protect and promote the health and well-being of pre-adolescents, adolescents and young adults in the state of Mississippi.
- Implement strategies and policies that enhance the overall health of pre-adolescents, adolescents and young adults, ages 10- 21.
- Promote services that support the Adolescent Health Objectives of Healthy People 2020
- Create services and policies that are formed from a holistic youth development approach.
- Address health disparity issues among pre-adolescents, adolescents and young adults.
- Develop partnerships with local, state and national community partners across a broad range of adolescent health issues.
The Adolescent Health Services Program serves as a resource to Mississippi communities in assessing and addressing strengths and risks related to adolescent status through:
- Consultation and training
- Assessing teen health status
- Involving youth in decisions and planning programs to address their needs
- Stimulating, planning, supporting and evaluating adolescent health programs
The Adolescent Health Services Program seeks to promote positive youth development and prevent or reduce negative health outcomes, focusing on:
- Promoting good mental health
- Reducing aggression and violence
- Preventing alcohol, tobacco and other substance use
- Avoiding early initiation of sexual behavior, pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS
- Preventing unintentional injuries and mortality
- Promoting healthy nutritious lifestyles and physical fitness activities
- Improving oral health
- Increasing health insurance coverage and adequate access to quality health care services
Key audiences that can impact adolescent health
- Local governments
- Non-profit organizations
- Health care providers
- Educators and school health staff
- Parents and adolescents themselves
- Policymakers, including legislators
- Business leaders
- Faith-based communities
- Community youth advocates
The Adolescent Health Program partners with many agencies and organizations to address health disparity issues among children, adolescents and young adults. Activities include:
- Advisory Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse: advises on prevention, treatment and rehabilitation services for children, adolescents and young adults, in collaboration with Mississippi Department of Mental Health, Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Abuse
- Children's Services Task Force: assists community partners in providing social services to teens and their families with the Mississippi Department of Mental Health
- Advisory Council on Youth Suicide Prevention: advises on health-related issues that affect the mental health and safety of children, adolescents and young adult, in performance with the Mississippi Department of Mental Health
- Mississippi Abstinence Education Program: advises on promoting abstinence from sexual activity as a statewide standard for adolescents and youth, in partnership with the Mississippi Department of Human Services
- Youth Risk Behavior Survey: assists with assessing teen health behaviors and risks through a school-based, bi-annual survey through the Mississippi Department of Education
- Coordinated School Health Initiative: assists community partners in improving the health of school-aged children and youth through the promotion of coordinated school health services through the Mississippi Alliance for School Health
- State Level Case Review: advises on cases concerning children and youth (up to 21 years of age) demonstrating emotional and behavioral problems or serious mental illness for whom adequate treatment or placement cannot be found at the county or local level; and examines policies and procedures of state and local agencies serving children and youth with serious emotional disturbances or serious mental illness, in collaboration with both the Mississippi Department of Mental Health and the Mississippi Department of Human Services.
In addition, Mississippi State Department of Health District and County staff serve on local-level MAP (Making A Plan) Teams. MAP Teams are multidisciplinary local teams that review cases concerning children and youth who have serious emotional disturbances and who are at immediate risk for an inappropriate 24-hour institutional placement. The members of these teams meet on a monthly basis to identify community-based services and resources that may divert children from inappropriate inpatient care. For a listing of MAP Teams or mental health services, see the Mississippi Department of Mental Health, Children and Youth Services Directory.
- Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD): assists community partners in providing middle and high school students with intervention and prevention tools to deal with issues of underage drinking, drunk driving, drug abuse and other destructive decisions, in collaboration with the Mississippi Department of Public Safety
- Shared Youth Vision: assists communities in delivering basic and appropriate health services to youth in order to prevent and reduce school dropout and youth delinquency rates, in partnership with the Mississippi Department of Employment Security
For more information on Adolescent Health Program services, please contact your nearest county health department or call 1-866-HLTHY4U (1-866-453-4948) or (601) 576-7464.