We believe that all young people deserve the knowledge, skills, and resources needed to make healthy decisions. Studies have shown that teen pregnancy, substance abuse, and untreated mental illness are associated with poor academic achievement, high school dropout, and other diminished life opportunities. The CDC reports that:
- 1 in 3 teenagers is sexually-active, and of those teens,
40% did not use a condom the last time they had sex.
- 1 in 10 teenagers experiences violence in a relationship.
- 1 in 4 teenagers uses marijuana.
- 1 in 5 teenagers binge drinks.
- 1 in 4 teenagers reports feeling consistently sad or hopeless.
- 1 in 6 teenagers has seriously considered suicide.
Health education plays a critical role in both the education and health systems, improving young people’s health outcomes, high school graduation rates, and life opportunities. We need a more integrated model for health education with both the health and education systems investing in high-quality, school-based health education and services in order to fill a persistent gap for young people. PHE has a unique role to play as the link between the classroom and the clinic, finding ways for the health and education systems to work together to improve results.