Topics & Resources

The following list of topics features the most common questions asked by research study participants during interviews conducted by New American Youth Health Resource. Each topic is paired with a list of online resources for you to visit if you wish to learn more.

Mental Health

What is mental health?

Mental health refers to a person’s emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It encompasses an individual’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and affects how they handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. Taking care of mental health is vital for overall well-being and can involve seeking support, practicing self-care, and accessing appropriate mental health services when needed. Educating yourself about mental health conditions will help you recognize your specific needs and empower you to live your best life. Visit the CDC website for more information.

Whether you have concerns about your own or a loved one’s mental health, the first step to healing is to break the stigma by talking about it. Start by identifying the right people who you trust and feel comfortable talking to. This could be a close friend, family member, or a mental health professional. Next, organize your thoughts beforehand by writing down key points or concerns you want to address to help you stay focused during the conversation. The person you are talking to may have questions or need clarification, so be open to their perspective and feedback, by engaging in an open dialogue.

If there are certain topics or aspects you’re not ready to discuss, communicate those boundaries clearly. It’s important to prioritize your comfort and emotional well-being. Finally, if your mental health concerns are severe or persistent, consider reaching out to a mental health professional who can provide appropriate support and guidance.

Visit the SAMHSA website for more information.

When you notice changes in your behavior that you are worried about, it is important to reach out for help as soon as possible. It is easiest to first speak with an adult you trust about your feelings and concerns, then, with their support, reach out to a mental healthcare professional. Visit the JED Foundation website for more information.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: The “Mental Health” section of the CDC website contains resources for coping with mental health issues and answers to commonly asked questions about mental health.

Center for Young Women’s Health and Young Men’s Health: These partner sites provide carefully researched health information, educational programs, and community spaces with hopes to empower young adolescents to take control of their own mental health care.

Go Ask Alice!: If you have any concerns about emotional and mental health, ask Alice. This site hosts an enormous database containing answers to questions already asked by other young adults with similar queries.

Girls Health.Gov: Under the “Your Feelings” tab, you can find information on how to recognize a mental health problem, how to get help, and how to talk to trusted adults about it.

The Jed Foundation: Whether you’re looking to help yourself or a loved one with mental health problems, find the information you need at The Jed Foundation’s Mental Health Resource Center. 

Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre: This website features information on how parents & caregivers, health professionals, school professionals and youth & young adults can best start a conversation about mental health concerns.

KidsHealth: Under the “Teens” tab, find information on the “Mind” page about how to support constructive mental health habits and cope with the common emotional challenges that come with being a teenager.

Mental Health and Human Rights Info: This website hosts a database featuring free resources about a range of topics including mental health.

Mental Health Literacy: This website features a vast well of information regarding mental health topics such as disorders, suicide, the stigmas surrounding mental health, and more.

Reach Out: Sign up at ReachOut to access a 100% anonymous community of support for better mental health. Designed with young people in mind, ReachOut is a safe space to openly express yourself.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: Learn the fundamentals of mental health, find guidance on how to get help for your mental health problems, and download free brochures on these topics at the SAMHSA website.  

Youth Empowerment: This mental health platform is designed as a space for youth and young adults to share their experiences and find resources to help them with their mental health needs.

Sexual Health

What is sexual health?

Sexual health refers to a state of physical, emotional, mental, and social well-being in relation to sexuality. It encompasses various aspects, including sexual development, sexual relationships, reproductive health, and the ability to have pleasurable and safe sexual experiences. 

Sexual health goes beyond the absence of disease or dysfunction and includes the right to make informed decisions about one’s sexual life, free from coercion, discrimination, and violence. It involves having access to comprehensive and accurate sexual education, reproductive healthcare services, and the promotion of respectful and consensual relationships.  Being in good sexual health means having “a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination, and violence.”

Visit the WHO website for more information.

Approach someone who you are comfortable with and trust with your questions and concerns. This could be a close friend, family member, or a mental health professional. If the thought of discussing sexual health makes you feel uncomfortable, it can help to schedule a time to talk to your trusted person(s) in a safe environment, write down the questions you would like to ask them beforehand, and acknowledge your nervousness during the conversation. Visit the Planned Parenthood website for more information.

Be open and honest when seeking help. You can speak with a trusted loved one, call a hotline, or speak with a healthcare professional. To feel more prepared for the conversation, identify the specific aspects of sexual health that you need help with — such as contraception, STI testing, sexual education, and healthy relationships — beforehand.

Not sure what to ask? Visit the Healthysexual website for a list of questions that may be relevant to your concerns.

Abortion Finder: This vast directory of trusted and verified abortion service providers in the United States can help you find the care you want in seconds.

Bedsider: An online birth control support network that aims to give young adults power over their sex life by providing information about birth control types, abortions, sexual health & wellness, and more.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: From this hub page, users can access webpages on several different sexual health topics including sexually transmitted diseases, reproductive health, sexual violence prevention, healthy pregnancy, HIV/AIDS prevention, and LGBT health.

Center for Young Women’s Health and Young Men’s Health: These partner sites provide carefully researched health information, educational programs, and community spaces with hopes to empower young adolescents to take control of their own health care.

Go Ask Alice!: If you have any concerns about reproductive and sexual health, ask Alice. This site hosts an enormous database containing answers to questions already asked by other young adults with similar queries.

Healthysexual: This upbeat website hosts information about HIV/AIDS awareness and what you can do to protect yourself from other sexually transmitted diseases when engaging in sexual activities.

Love Matters: Empowering young adults around the world by giving them “blush-free” facts about love, sex, and relationships is their specialty.

Options for Sexual Health: This website aims to give young adults agency over their own health by providing information about sexual and reproductive health from a sex-positive perspective.

Pathfinder: This global health organization advocates for women’s health around the world by expanding access to sexual and reproductive health services through locally led, community-driven programs.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America: Planned Parenthood’s teen page offers information from STIs and pregnancy to puberty and sexual orientation, plus more.

Power to Decide: This organization is dedicated to creating a world where everyone has control of their own bodies ”no matter who they are or where they live.” They’re also the powerhouse behind Bedsider and Abortion Finder.

Safe Teens: A teen’s guide to everything health, including information on birth control, safe sex practices, alcohol & drug use, and cyberbullying.

Scarleteen: More blog than stuffy information website, Scarleteen approaches teen sexual health and relationships with zero judgment.

Sisterlove: This organization features information on how to get tested for HIV and ways to prevent transmission. Sisterlove has an office in Atlanta, GA, and Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Well Project: The Well Project website features information, support, and tools for women and girls who are living with or are vulnerable to HIV.

Gender-based Violence

What is gender-based violence?

Gender-based violence refers to any form of violence, abuse, or harm that is perpetrated against an individual based on their gender or gender identity. It encompasses a wide range of behaviors that are rooted in power imbalances and discrimination, specifically targeting individuals due to their gender or perceived deviation from societal gender norms. 

This type of violence disproportionately affects women and girls but can also affect individuals of any gender. It includes acts such as domestic violence, sexual assault, harassment, human trafficking, forced marriages, female genital mutilation, and other harmful practices. 

Gender-based violence is a violation of human rights and has severe physical, psychological, and social consequences for the survivors. Addressing and preventing gender-based violence requires comprehensive efforts to challenge patriarchal norms, promote gender equality, and provide support and resources for survivors. Visit the UNHCR website for more information.

Talking about gender-based violence is crucial in raising awareness, challenging societal norms, and promoting change. Before initiating conversations, educate yourself about GBV, including its various forms, statistics, and underlying causes. This will help you speak knowledgeably and confidently. During your research, explore the underlying factors that contribute to GBV, such as gender inequality, power imbalances, social norms, and harmful attitudes. 

Fostering conversations that challenge these norms can help promote gender equality and courage individuals to become advocates for change by challenging GBV in their communities, supporting organizations working in this field, and promoting policies that address the root causes.

Discussing gender-based violence can be triggering and emotional for some people, so approach the topic with empathy while acknowledging the experiences and emotions that individuals may have. Visit the UNPF website for more information.

If you believe you or someone you love is experiencing gender-based violence, please reach out to a hotline such as the National Domestic Violence Hotline (800-799-7233) or someone who you trust can offer help, such as a health care provider. Educating yourself about the many different forms of GBV will help you to recognize the signs of gender-based violence, empowering you to reach out for aid. Visit the Women Helping Women website to find out more.

Asian Pacific Institute on Sexual Violence: At the APISV website, you’ll find a collection of resources and information about GBV against API women in several Asian and Pacific Islander languages and English.

Mental Health and Human Rights Info: This website hosts a database featuring free resources about a range of topics including gender-based violence.

National Sexual Violence Resource Center: The NSVRC website has a large directory of organizations sorted by type (including LGBTQ+ focused, community of color, faith-based, and more) and location in the U.S.

UN Women: This program within the United Nations is “dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women” worldwide. Their website features information and resources about ending violence against women.

United Nations Population Fund: UNPF is an international sexual and reproductive health agency backed by the United Nations. In addition to information about GBV, their website also hosts resources for sexual and reproductive health.

Women Helping Women: This organization strives to prevent GBV and support survivors through evidence-based crisis intervention programs in Southwest Ohio. Find straight-forward and indepth information about GBV on their “About Gender-Based Violence” page.

Women’s Refugee Commission: The WRC website hosts a large Research and Resources Library featuring reports, field manuals and other tools to help their mission: “to improve and protect the lives and rights of women, children, and youth displaced by conflict and crisis.”

Religion & Health

What is the relationship between religion and health?

Religious communities often provide social support networks that can have positive effects on health. The sense of belonging, connectedness, and social interaction within religious communities can promote emotional well-being, reduce stress, and offer a support system during challenging times.

Regarding mental health wellness, religion can play a significant role in helping individuals cope with stress, illness, and loss. Religious beliefs and practices may provide comfort, hope, and a sense of meaning and purpose, offering psychological and emotional support during difficult circumstances. This can contribute to increased resilience and improved mental health outcomes.

It’s important to note that while religion can have positive effects on health, it is not a substitute for professional medical care. Individual experiences and the impact of religion on health can vary widely. It’s essential to approach the topic with respect, recognizing that people hold diverse beliefs and that their experiences with religion and health are personal and subjective.

With genuine curiosity, approach the conversation with a willingness to understand different perspectives. Actively listen to the person without interrupting or imposing your views while empathizing with and validating their feelings and perspectives, even if they differ from your own.

If appropriate, provide relevant information or resources that align with their religious beliefs and promote good health practices. This could include articles, books, or trusted sources that explore the intersection of religion and health.

Finally, respect the boundaries of the person you’re speaking with. Some individuals may prefer to keep their religious beliefs private, and that should be respected. Avoid imposing your own beliefs or engaging in debates that could be potentially sensitive or disrespectful.

Remember, it’s important to approach conversations about religion and health with a genuine desire to understand and respect the beliefs of others. Engaging in respectful dialogue can promote mutual understanding and facilitate discussions that enrich both personal faith and well-being.

Once you understand what kind of assistance you’re looking for, reach out to trusted individuals or organizations that have expertise in the area of religion and health. These may include religious leaders, counselors, healthcare professionals with knowledge of religious practices, or community organizations that specialize in this topic.

If your questions or concerns are primarily related to religious practices, consult with religious leaders or clergy members who can provide insight into how your specific faith tradition approaches health-related issues. They may be able to offer guidance based on religious teachings or direct you to relevant resources within your religious community.

On the other hand, if you have questions about how religious beliefs intersect with medical advice or treatment plans, consider reaching out to healthcare professionals who are knowledgeable about religious practices and sensitive to their impact on health. They can provide information and guidance based on medical expertise while taking into account your religious beliefs and values.

International Research Network on Religion and Medicine: This research network brings together scholars and professionals to study the connections between religion, spirituality, and health. Their website provides access to research articles, publications, conference information, and resources on the topic.

Institute for Spirituality and Health (Texas Medical Center): The Institute for Spirituality and Health is dedicated to exploring the role of spirituality in healthcare. Their website offers resources, research articles, and information about educational programs focused on the integration of spirituality and health.

Religion and Spirituality in Society Research Network: This network brings together researchers, practitioners, and educators to explore the intersections of religion, spirituality, and society. Their website provides access to scholarly publications, conference information, and resources related to religion and health.

National Institute for Healthcare Research: The National Institute for Healthcare Research explores the role of religion and spirituality in healthcare. Their website offers research articles, reports, and resources on integrating spiritual care into healthcare settings.

For Caregivers:
Having a Conversation with Your Child

Why is it important to have a conversation about health with your child?

Engaging in a conversation about health allows you to provide your child with vital information and knowledge about their well-being. It helps them understand the importance of maintaining good health and the impact their choices can have on their overall well-being.

By discussing health topics with your child, you empower them to make informed decisions about their health. They become active participants in their well-being, learning to take responsibility for their actions and choices.

Starting a conversation with your child about health can be done in a thoughtful and engaging way. Here are some tips to help you begin:

  1. Choose the right time and place: Find a comfortable and relaxed environment where both you and your child can focus on the conversation without distractions. It could be during a walk, a car ride, or a quiet moment at home.
  1. Be approachable and non-judgmental: Create an open and non-judgmental atmosphere that encourages them to share their thoughts and concerns freely. Approach the conversation with empathy, understanding, and a willingness to listen.
  1. Use everyday situations as a starting point: Look for opportunities in your daily lives to introduce health-related topics naturally. For example, while preparing a meal, you could talk about the importance of balanced nutrition or the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables.
  1. Ask open-ended questions: Open-ended questions stimulate conversation and encourage your child to express their thoughts. Instead of asking yes-or-no questions, try asking questions like, “What do you think makes a person healthy?” or “How do you feel after participating in physical activities?”
  1. Share Personal Experiences: Make the conversation relatable by sharing your own experiences related to health. For instance, you could talk about how exercise helps you feel energized or how practicing good hygiene keeps you feeling fresh.
  1. Encourage questions and active participation: Encourage your child to ask questions, express their thoughts, and actively participate in the conversation. This will make them feel involved and valued in the discussion.

Remember, ongoing conversations about health are more effective than one-off discussions. Make it a regular practice to discuss health-related topics, allowing your child to develop a deeper understanding and a sense of ownership over their well-being. 

First, determine what specific aspects of the conversation you need assistance with. Are you looking for tips on initiating the conversation, addressing specific health topics, or handling potential challenges? Clarifying your needs will help you communicate them effectively when seeking help.

Then, consider reaching out to trusted sources for guidance and support. This can include healthcare professionals, pediatricians, school counselors, parenting groups, or even friends and family members who have experience in discussing health with their children. You may also find parenting workshops and seminars or parenting support groups helpful.

American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP): AAFP’s website provides resources and tips for parents to communicate with their children about various health-related topics. Their “Family Health” section offers articles on conversations about healthy habits, body changes, mental health, and more.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): The CDC website offers resources and guidance for parents on numerous health topics. Their “Parents’ Corner” section provides information on how to talk to children about health, including discussions about physical activity, nutrition, vaccinations, and more.

Child Mind Institute: The Child Mind Institute’s website offers resources and articles on children’s mental health and well-being. Their “Healthy Development” section provides guidance on discussing mental health, emotions, and social development with children.

FamilyDoctor:, created by the American Academy of Family Physicians, offers information and resources for parents on various health topics. Their “Kids’ Health” section provides articles on discussing health with children, including common concerns, healthy habits, and preventive care.

HealthyChildren: This website, created by the American Academy of Pediatrics, offers a variety of resources for parents on a wide range of health topics. It provides guidance on how to talk to children about their health, including articles, tips, and age-specific information.

KidsHealth: KidsHealth provides articles and resources for parents, covering various health and wellness topics. Their “Talking to Your Child About Health” section offers advice on how to approach conversations about different health issues based on age and development.

National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH offers resources for parents on a wide range of health issues. Their “Talking to Your Kids About Health” section provides tips on initiating conversations about different health topics, including nutrition, physical activity, sleep, and substance abuse prevention.

Parent Toolkit: Parent Toolkit provides resources and tools for parents to support their child’s development and well-being. Their “Health & Wellness” section offers advice on having conversations about various health topics, including hygiene, nutrition, sleep, and stress management.

Personal Hygiene

What is personal hygiene? 

Personal hygiene refers to the practices and habits individuals engage in to maintain cleanliness and promote good health. It involves taking care of one’s body, appearance, and immediate surroundings. These self-care practices are essential for preventing the spread of germs, reducing the risk of illness, and promoting overall well-being. 

Some key aspects of personal hygiene include regularly washing hands with soap and water, brushing teeth at least twice a day, regularly bathing or showering and washing hair, trimming nails, wearing clean clothes, and maintaining cleanliness in personal surroundings.

Practicing good personal hygiene not only contributes to physical health but also promotes self-confidence, social interactions, and a positive self-image.

When discussing personal hygiene, it’s important to approach the topic with sensitivity and respect, especially when speaking with children or individuals who may be sensitive about the subject. To help have a productive conversation, find a comfortable and private setting where the person feels at ease. This could be a quiet space at home or a casual conversation during a walk or car ride.

During your talk, make sure to emphasize the benefits of good personal hygiene, such as feeling fresh, preventing illness and infections, maintaining a positive self-image, and promoting social interactions. Give examples of how to practice good hygiene relevant to the person’s age and situation, such as handwashing, teeth brushing, bathing or showering, hair care, nail care, and wearing clean clothes.

If speaking to children, encourage them to take responsibility for their personal hygiene routines. Offer guidance and support while gradually empowering them to perform tasks independently. If the person has specific concerns or questions related to personal hygiene, address them openly and provide relevant information or advice. For example, discuss puberty-related hygiene topics, menstruation, or specific concerns like body odor or acne.

Personal hygiene is an ongoing aspect of daily life. Encourage regular conversations about hygiene, reinforcing the importance of consistent practices and addressing any questions or concerns that may arise.

To ask for help, begin by determining which specific aspects of personal hygiene you need help with. For example, you might need guidance on establishing a routine, understanding proper techniques for certain hygiene practices, or addressing any specific concerns or challenges you may have.

Then, identify someone you trust and feel comfortable speaking to about personal matters. This could be a family member, a close friend, a healthcare professional, a religious leader, or a caregiver. No matter your relationship with them, make sure to select someone who you believe will be understanding, supportive, and knowledgeable about personal hygiene practices.

When approaching this person, be clear about what you need help with and why you are seeking assistance. Whether it’s learning proper dental care techniques, understanding how to establish a bathing routine, or addressing any skin or body odor concerns, being specific will help the person understand how they can assist you.

If you feel your personal hygiene concerns require more specialized attention, consider reaching out to a healthcare professional, such as a primary care physician, dermatologist, or dentist. They can provide expert advice and address any specific health-related concerns you may have.

Remember, asking for help with personal hygiene is a positive step towards self-care and well-being. It demonstrates your willingness to learn and improve, and there are individuals and resources available to support you in your journey to better personal hygiene practices.

Amaze: The “Puberty” section of the Amaze website offers comprehensive information and resources about puberty, including a specific focus on personal hygiene during this important stage of development.

BAM! Body and Mind (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention): BAM! is a website designed for teens and covers various health topics, including personal hygiene. It offers interactive games, quizzes, and articles to educate and engage teens in learning about hygiene practices. provides reliable health information specifically for teenage girls. Their website covers topics like hygiene, skincare, menstrual hygiene, body image, and more. It offers articles, videos, and interactive features to empower girls to make informed decisions about their health.

KidsHealth Teen: KidsHealth Teen is a teen-oriented section of the KidsHealth website. It provides accurate and age-appropriate health information, including articles on personal hygiene, skin care, body odor, oral hygiene, and other relevant topics.

TeensHealth: TeensHealth is a comprehensive resource for teenagers, covering a wide range of health topics. Their personal hygiene section offers information on grooming, skincare, hair care, oral hygiene, and more. It provides articles, videos, and quizzes to help teens understand and practice good hygiene habits.

TeensHealth from Nemours: TeensHealth from Nemours is a website dedicated to providing teens with reliable health information. Their personal hygiene section offers articles and advice on various hygiene topics, such as acne care, body odor, skincare routines, and more.

Young Men’s Health: Young Men’s Health is a website that addresses the unique health concerns of teenage boys. Their personal hygiene section covers topics like skincare, grooming, body odor, oral hygiene, and more. It provides information and tips specifically tailored for young men.

Peer Pressure

What is peer pressure?

Peer pressure refers to the influence exerted by one’s peers or social group to conform to certain behaviors, attitudes, or actions. It involves feeling compelled to adopt the preferences, values, or actions of others in order to fit in or gain acceptance within a specific social circle. Peer pressure can manifest in various forms, both positive and negative, and can be influential during childhood, adolescence, and even adulthood.

Positive peer pressure occurs when individuals are encouraged by their peers to engage in behaviors that are beneficial or constructive. Examples include participating in sports or extracurricular activities, focusing on academic achievements, or adopting healthy habits like exercising or eating nutritious foods. Positive peer pressure can provide motivation, support, and inspiration for personal growth and development.

On the other hand, negative peer pressure refers to situations where individuals are pressured to engage in harmful, risky, or inappropriate behaviors. Examples can include experimenting with drugs or alcohol, engaging in unsafe activities, engaging in bullying or aggression, or engaging in activities that go against personal values or beliefs. Negative peer pressure can have detrimental effects on physical health, mental well-being, and overall personal development.

Dealing with peer pressure requires developing skills to resist negative influences and make independent, healthy choices. Some strategies to manage peer pressure include the following: 

  1. Build assertiveness skills to confidently express your own opinions, values, and boundaries, even when they differ from those of your peers
  2. Surround yourself with supportive friends who encourage positive behavior and share similar values and interests
  3. Cultivate self-confidence and a strong sense of self-worth, which can make you less susceptible to negative peer pressure
  4. Enhance decision-making skills by considering the potential consequences and weighing the impact of choices before giving in to peer pressure
  5. Maintain open lines of communication with trusted adults, such as parents, teachers, or mentors, who can provide guidance and support when facing challenging peer situations
  6. Establish personal boundaries and be assertive in maintaining them, even if it means saying “no” to certain behaviors or activities
  7. Reach out to supportive individuals or seek professional help if you feel overwhelmed by negative peer pressure or need guidance in navigating challenging social situations

Asking for help with peer pressure can be an important step in navigating challenging social situations. To start, seek out a trusted adult or supportive person in your life to whom you feel comfortable talking about your concerns. This could be a parent, guardian, teacher, counselor, mentor, or another trusted figure. Start the conversation by sharing your concerns about peer pressure — be open and honest about the challenges you’re facing, the specific situations or behaviors you’re experiencing, and how it is affecting you. Express how peer pressure makes you feel and any emotions or stress it may be causing. This is an important step because sharing your feelings can help the person you’re talking to better understand your perspective and provide appropriate support.

Make sure to clearly communicate what kind of help you are looking for. This could involve discussing strategies for resisting negative peer pressure, seeking guidance on making independent choices, or brainstorming ways to navigate difficult social situations.

If you feel overwhelmed or find it challenging to handle peer pressure on your own, consider seeking professional help. A counselor, therapist, or psychologist can provide valuable guidance, coping strategies, and support tailored to your specific situation.

Asking for help is a sign of strength and demonstrates your commitment to making healthy choices. Trusted adults and supportive individuals are there to assist you in navigating peer pressure and supporting your well-being. Don’t hesitate to reach out when you need guidance or a listening ear.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): The “Essentials for Parenting Teens” section of the CDC website provides essential information and resources for parents on various aspects of teen health, including valuable insights and guidance on understanding and addressing peer pressure.

Center for Parent and Teen Communication: This article from CPTC offers insights into how teens perceive and experience peer pressure, shedding light on their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in various social situations. It aims to help parents and caregivers understand the dynamics of peer pressure and provides guidance on how to support and communicate effectively with their teens.

Kids HelpLine: This webpage provides valuable information, practical tips, and relatable stories to help teenagers understand and navigate peer pressure situations while fostering a sense of self-acceptance and individuality.

Nationwide Children’s: The Nationwide Children’s website provides strategies and guidance on how to effectively handle and manage peer pressure, empowering both parents and children to make positive choices and maintain a healthy sense of individuality.

ReachOut: is a website dedicated to supporting young people’s mental health and well-being. Their section on peer pressure offers practical tips, personal stories, and strategies to help navigate and resist negative peer influence.

TeensHealth: TeensHealth provides comprehensive health information for teenagers. Their articles on peer pressure cover different aspects, such as understanding peer pressure, making independent choices, and building self-confidence.

Health Advocacy

What is health advocacy?

Health advocacy is the practice of speaking up for yourself or others when it comes to healthcare. Examples of health advocacy include writing a list of questions for your healthcare provider before an appointment and discussing health issues that are on your mind with them no matter how small they may seem. By being a health advocate, you are supporting yourself and others to get the best healthcare possible, which everyone deserves. Visit The Well Project website to learn more.

When talking about health advocacy, it’s important to convey the significance of advocating for individual and community health needs. Begin by explaining what health advocacy means. Describe it as the process of supporting and promoting the rights and well-being of individuals and communities, particularly in relation to accessing healthcare, addressing health disparities, and influencing health policies.

Stress the importance of individuals getting involved in health advocacy by encouraging them to speak up about their own health needs, participate in community initiatives, join advocacy groups, or support organizations working on health-related issues. Explaining how health advocacy can lead to improved healthcare policies, increased funding for health programs, enhanced access to quality care, and reduced stigma around certain health conditions will ultimately better health outcomes for everyone.

Health advocacy is an ongoing and collective effort to create positive change. Encourage open discussions, active engagement, and collaboration to foster a culture of health advocacy and empower individuals to make a difference in their own lives and communities. Visit this webpage at Verywell Health to learn more.

Asking for help with health advocacy is an important step in effectively advocating for your health needs or the needs of a community. To do so, first identify the areas or issues in health advocacy where you require assistance by determining what specific support, resources, or expertise you need to advance your advocacy efforts. Once you have defined what you’d like to know, look for individuals, organizations, or networks that have experience or expertise in health advocacy and research reputable organizations or community groups that align with your health advocacy goals.

Another way to ask for help with health advocacy is to utilize social media platforms, online forums, or discussion groups dedicated to health advocacy can help you to engage in conversations, share your experiences, and seek advice from others who have engaged in similar advocacy work. It may also be constructive to consult trusted healthcare professionals, experts, or researchers who specialize in the area you are advocating for. They may provide valuable insights, evidence-based information, or guidance on effective advocacy strategies. Visit the Public Citizen website for more information.

American Medical Association: The AMA is an organization dedicated to health care advocacy at the policy level in the United States. Their website features health advocacy resources alongside information about their work.

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids: This website focuses on advocacy efforts to combat tobacco use and protect children and teens from the harms of tobacco.

Community Health Centers: With more than 65,000 advocates, this vast health advocacy network helps provide over 30 million patients with quality healthcare.

Generation Patient: The Generation Patient website provides information about advocacy initiatives for young adults living with chronic and rare conditions to ensure that they have the opportunities and resources to thrive.

HealthAdvocate: This site helps patients get the help they need by offering health advocacy services through licensed professionals.

Medicine Assistance Tool: This website provides information and resources to help individuals access the prescription medications they need. It offers assistance programs, advocacy tools, and information on patient assistance programs.

National Health Council: The National Health Council is an organization that brings together patient advocacy groups and healthcare providers to improve the lives of people with chronic diseases and disabilities.

Public Citizen: This nonprofit consumer advocacy organization advocates for safer, more effective healthcare practices. Their website provides information, research, and resources on various health advocacy issues.

Healthcare Services

What are healthcare services?

Healthcare services refer to a wide range of medical and preventive care provided by healthcare professionals to individuals and communities to promote, maintain, and restore health. They encompass various aspects of healthcare, including diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and management of illnesses or injuries. Examples of healthcare services include primary care, specialty care, emergency care, preventive services, diagnostic testing, surgeries, vaccinations, mental health services, rehabilitation, and palliative care, among others. The goal of healthcare services is to improve the overall health and well-being of individuals, prevent diseases, manage chronic conditions, and address the healthcare needs of populations. Find out why healthcare services are so important at the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion website.

Consult with healthcare professionals, such as doctors, nurses, or specialists, who can provide information about specific healthcare services, treatment options, and preventive care measures. They can offer personalized guidance based on your individual health needs. Another option is to research hospitals, clinics, or healthcare centers to gather information about the services they offer. Websites and resources provided by government healthcare agencies, such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), can also be helpful in your quest for more information. These agencies often offer comprehensive information about healthcare services, insurance coverage, and public health initiatives.

Remember to critically evaluate and verify the information you obtain from different sources to ensure its accuracy and reliability. If you have specific healthcare needs or concerns, consulting with a healthcare professional is always advisable.

When seeking healthcare services, start with your health insurance provider. They will have a list of healthcare providers for your specific needs that will take your insurance, potentially saving you thousands of dollars. There are also many online resources to help you search for the type of healthcare you need. Use the HRSA Data Warehouse map to find a healthcare provider in your area.

Clinic Finder by Planned Parenthood: Planned Parenthood’s Clinic Finder allows you to search for their health centers across the United States, offering a wide range of reproductive and sexual health services, including affordable or free care options.

Free Clinic Directory: This website offers a searchable directory of free clinics nationwide. Users can search by state, city, or zip code to find nearby clinics that provide free or low-cost healthcare services.

Health Resources & Services Administration: Explore maps, data sets, fact sheets and more, all about health care resources and how to find the care you need, at the HRSA website. The official website of the U.S. government’s health insurance marketplace provides information on affordable healthcare options, including Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Human Rights Campaign: The HRC website contains healthcare resources centered on LGBTQ+ individuals

Legal Aid for Uninsured Kids and Youth (LAWYER): LAWYER is a program that provides free legal representation and advocacy for uninsured children and youth, including immigrant populations, to help them access healthcare services.

Migrant Clinicians Network (MCN): MCN is a nonprofit organization that focuses on healthcare for migrant populations, including immigrant youths. They offer resources, training, and support for healthcare providers serving migrant communities.

National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (NAFC): The NAFC website provides a directory of free and charitable clinics across the United States. These clinics offer a range of medical, dental, pharmacy, and behavioral health services.

National Center for Refugee and Immigrant Children (NCRIC): NCRIC works to improve the health and well-being of immigrant and refugee children in the United States. They offer medical and mental health services, case management, and advocacy support.

NeedyMeds: NeedyMeds is a comprehensive resource that provides information on free and low-cost healthcare clinics, prescription assistance programs, and other healthcare resources. They offer a search tool to locate clinics based on location.

Office of Population Affairs: The OPA website features a Title X Family Planning Clinic Locator that offers information about clinics that provide a broad range of family planning and preventive health services.

Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) Refugee Health Program: ORR’s Refugee Health Program works to ensure access to healthcare for newly arrived refugees, including immigrant youths. They provide support for medical screenings, immunizations, and coordination with local healthcare providers.

The National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center: This website provides information about LGBTQIA+ healthcare and resources on how to find providers specializing in LGBTQIA+ health.

United Way: The United Way’s website provides a search tool to find local resources, including healthcare assistance programs, community clinics, and other health-related services.

U.S. Department of Human Health and Services: The HHS website covers information about patient health rights, health insurance, and prevention & wellness services.

Substance Use and Abuse

What is substance use and abuse?

Substance use refers to the act of consuming substances, such as alcohol, tobacco, prescription drugs, or illicit drugs, for various reasons, including recreation, socializing, or self-medication. Substance abuse, on the other hand, refers to the problematic or excessive use of substances that can lead to negative consequences on an individual’s physical and mental health, social relationships, and overall well-being.

Substance abuse involves patterns of use that are harmful, risky, or impairing to an individual’s functioning. It may include behaviors such as using substances in larger amounts or for longer periods than intended, being unable to cut down or control substance use, experiencing cravings or withdrawal symptoms when not using, neglecting responsibilities or engaging in risky behaviors due to substance use, and continued substance use despite negative consequences.

Substance abuse can have severe health implications, including an increased risk of accidents, injuries, and chronic health conditions. It can also lead to mental health disorders, strained relationships, financial difficulties, legal problems, and reduced overall quality of life.

It’s important to note that substance abuse is a complex issue influenced by various factors, including genetic, environmental, and psychological factors. Treatment and support are available for individuals struggling with substance abuse to help them overcome addiction, manage withdrawal symptoms, address underlying issues, and promote long-term recovery. Read more about the effects of alcohol and drug misuse and addiction at the Mayo Clinic website.

Talking about substance use and abuse can be challenging but important for raising awareness, promoting understanding, and supporting individuals who may be affected. Before initiating the conversation, educate yourself about substance use, addiction, and available resources. This will enable you to provide accurate information and address any misconceptions that may arise. Then, be sure to find a comfortable and private setting where both parties can speak openly and without distractions. Ensure there is enough time to have a meaningful, impactful conversation.

Approach the topic with empathy, understanding that substance use and abuse can involve complex issues. Avoid blaming or shaming language, and instead express concern and willingness to listen. To encourage open dialogue, ask open-ended questions that allow the person to share their thoughts and experiences. This helps create a safe space for conversation and shows that you value their perspective.

Let the person know that you are there to support them, and offer assistance in finding appropriate resources, such as treatment options, support groups, or counseling services. Assure them that seeking help is a sign of strength and that they are not alone in their journey.

Remember that these conversations should be approached with sensitivity, patience, and a focus on promoting well-being. If necessary, encourage the individual to seek professional help from healthcare providers or addiction specialists who can provide specialized guidance and support. Read more about how to have a conversation with someone who you think may have a substance use problem at

To get help with substance use and abuse, you must first acknowledge that your substance use is causing negative consequences in your life, affecting your health, relationships, work, or overall well-being. Understand that seeking help is a brave and important decision.

Once you have accepted this fact, reach out to trusted individuals in your life who can provide emotional support and understanding. This can include family members, friends, mentors, or support groups. Share your struggles with them and let them know you need their support in seeking help.

Seek out reputable resources in your community or online that offer assistance with substance use and abuse, including helplines, addiction treatment centers, support groups, or counseling services. Scheduling an appointment with a healthcare professional, such as a doctor, therapist, or addiction counselor, may also be helpful. They can assess your situation, provide professional advice, and recommend appropriate treatment options or referrals.

Finally, consider exploring peer support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA). These groups provide a safe and non-judgmental setting where you can share experiences, receive support, and learn from others facing similar challenges.

Asking for help is a courageous act, and taking the first step can lead to positive change. Reach out to the chosen resource or professional, make that initial call, or attend a support group meeting. Each small step counts towards your journey to recovery.

Alcoholics Anonymous: Take a self-assessment, read about excessive alcohol use, and find support groups in your area at this website.

Amaze: This website features educational videos and resources on various topics related to substance use and abuse, including prevention, understanding the risks, and making informed decisions, designed specifically for young people.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: The “Alcohol and Public Health” section of the CDC website contains resources for learning how to recognize and prevent excessive alcohol use.

Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre: This website features information on how parents & caregivers, health professionals, school professionals, and youth & young adults can best start a conversation about alcohol and drug use concerns.

Narcotics Anonymous: Read about drug addiction and find a meeting near you at this website.

National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence: This website offers resources and information to support those who need assistance confronting their excessive alcohol and drug use.

National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: Learn about the impact of excessive alcohol use on a person’s health and explore tools & resources directed toward young people to help keep their drinking under control at this website supported by the National Institutes of Health.

NIDA for Teens: The NIDA website provides a wealth of knowledge and resources including easy-to-read guides about various drugs. Their webpage dedicated to young people includes video testimonials and blog posts.

Partnership to End Addiction: The Partnership to End Addiction website hosts resources and information about how to recognize the signs of alcohol and drug use, how to prevent it, and how to help a loved one in need.

SMART Recovery: With a program entirely dedicated to substance recovery help for teens and young adults, this website has all of the resources you need to find help with alcohol and drug use.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: Find help and learn more about alcohol and drug abuse at this website.

Truth Initiative: This website offers up-to-date information about the negative effects of drug and tobacco use as well as testimonials from young people who have quit.


What are helplines?

Helplines are specialized phone services that provide immediate support, guidance, and information to individuals in need. They are staffed by trained professionals who are equipped to handle a wide range of issues and offer assistance to callers. Helplines are typically anonymous, confidential, and available 24/7, ensuring that help is accessible whenever it is needed.

Helplines serve as a valuable resource for individuals experiencing emotional distress, crisis situations, or seeking information and support for specific concerns. They can provide a listening ear, offer emotional support, provide crisis intervention, offer guidance on available resources and services, and even facilitate referrals to appropriate organizations or professionals. Click on the “Where can you find help?” option below to browse helplines curated by NAYHR or visit the HelpGuide website for a more extensive list.

When talking about finding support through a helpline, it’s important to emphasize that seeking help is a sign of strength and courage. Encourage individuals to reach out when they are facing challenges, feeling overwhelmed, or in need of support.

Helplines provide immediate assistance by serving as a safe and confidential space for individuals to share their concerns. The professionals at the other end of the line are trained to listen without judgment and provide empathetic support, so assure whoever it is you are speaking with that they can openly express their thoughts and emotions without fear of criticism.

When discussing finding help through a helpline, it’s important to convey understanding, compassion, and a genuine willingness to support others in seeking the assistance they need. Read about why you should call a helpline and find a list of them on this Youth Empowerment webpage.

Calling a helpline for the first time can be scary, but when you’re feeling overwhelmed and in crisis, helplines offer a quick and convenient way to access the aid you need. The person who answers at the end of the line is trained to listen, offer feedback, suggest resources, and provide comfort for those who call. Read this article about ‘What to Expect When Calling a Helpline’ for more information. 

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Call or text 988 anytime, 24/7

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM): UK residents call 0800-58-58-58

Crisis Text Line: Text “HOME” to 741741

Get Tested: Call 1-800-CDC-INFO to locate local clinics that provide free low-cost, confidential STD services

Lines for Life: This Oregon-based help center features four helplines based on the needs of callers. |

  • Suicide Lifeline: Call 1-800-273-8255 at any time or text 273TALK to 839863 (8 a.m. to 11 p.m. PST daily)
  • Alcohol & Drug Helpline: Call 1-800-923-4357 at any time or text RecoveryNow to 839863 (8 a.m. to 11 p.m. PST daily)
  • Military Helpline: Call 1-888-457-4838 at any time or text MIL1 to 839863 (8 a.m. to 11 p.m. PST daily)
  • Youthline: Call 1-877-968-8491, text teen2teen to 839863, email, or chat online here. (Teens are available to chat from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. PST daily; calls at all other times are answered by adults.)

List of International Suicide Hotlines:

Love is Respect: Text “LOVEIS” to 22522, or call 1-866-331-9474 to talk with a peer advocate to prevent and end abusive relationships

National Eating Disorder Association: Call 1-800-931-2237

National Runaway Safeline: Call 1-800-786-2929 at any time or chat online here. 

National Sexual Assault Hotline: Call 800-656-HOPE (4673) to get connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area

National Domestic Assault Hotline: Call 800-799-7233

Planned Parenthood Chatline: Visit to use their instant chatline.

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network): Call 1-800-656-HOPE

Teen Line: Call 1-800-852-8336 or text TEEN to 839863 to speak with another teen for support.

Trans Lifeline: Call 1-877-565-8860 (7 a.m. to 1 a.m. PST)

Trevor Project: Text or call 866-488-7386 to receive crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ+ youths

ULifeline: An online mental health resource for college students

Registries of Effective Health Programs

What are registries of effective health programs?

Registries of effective health programs are collections of health initiatives that are recommended by various federal agencies due to an expert opinion, review of design, and/or research evidence. These programs cover many different health topics. Read more about registries of effective health programs geared toward youth at the CDC website.

Child Trends LINKS (Lifecourse Interventions to Nurture Kids Successfully) Database: Addresses child health topics including cognitive development and education, social and emotional health and development, physical health, behavioral problems, HIV, STD and TPP prevention, and mental health

Compendium of Evidence-Based Interventions and Best Practices for HIV Prevention (CDC): A collection of information sheets about HIV interventions

National Cancer Institute Research-tested Intervention Programs: Features information about HPV vaccination and informed decision making

Social Programs That Work: Addresses teen pregnancy prevention, substance abuse prevention and treatment, and classroom management

What Works Clearinghouse: A resource for educators to help students with character education, dropout prevention, personal/social development, and violence prevention
link Program Directory: Covers topics including teen pregnancy, early sexual involvement, substance use prevention, victimization and exposure to violence, and protective factors

Who to Follow on Social Media

Bedsider: Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter @bedsider

Planned Parenthood: Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube @plannedparenthood | Twitter @PPFA

Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health (ICAH): Twitter @ICAH | Facebook, LinkedIn @IllinoisCaucusForAdolescentHealth | Instagram @icahgram | YouTube @IllinoisCaucus

Office of Population Affairs: Twitter @HHSPopAffairs 

Healthysexual: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube @healthysexual Twitter, Instagram, YouTube @HIVGov | Facebook | LinkedIn

Sisterlove: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube @sisterloveinc

The Well Project: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter @thewellproject | Instagram, YouTube @thewellprojecthiv

Power to Decide: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube @powertodecide

GLAAD: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube @glaad

Human Rights Campaign: Facebook, Instagram, TikTok @humanrightscampaign | Twitter @HRC

The Trevor Project: Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube @thetrvorproject | Instagram, TikTok, Twitter @trevorproject

Truth Initiative: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube @truthorange

ReachOut: Facebook @ReachOutAUS | Instagram, Twitter @ReachOut_AUS | YouTube @ReachoutAU

Youth Era: Twitch @youthera | Instagram, YouTube @theyouthera


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