Health & Wellbeing
Physical and behavioral health is important throughout our lives, but our adolescent years bear special attention as a pivotal time when support (or lack of it) can impact our wellbeing for a lifetime.
Physically, puberty transforms our bodies from those of children to those of sexually mature adults. We gain nearly half of our adult skeleton during these years, as well as much of our adult height and weight. Cognitively, we’re learning rapidly from our experiences, and developing habits and coping skills that can carry forward into adulthood. At the same time, our capacities to set goals and make well-reasoned decisions increase, positioning us to be active participants in our care.
But there are barriers to quality healthcare for many of us as young people based on racial inequities, poverty, and discrimination toward sexual minority youth. These inequities can create additional physical and behavioral health issues as well.
As adults, we need to ensure a healthcare system designed to support access to developmentally appropriate services that support adolescents’ wellbeing today in ways that will lay a healthy foundation for the future.
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