Adolescence is a stage that moves a young person from childhood into adulthood. The health and well-being of adolescents and young adults are shaped by variety of internal and external factors; experiences, relationships and environments. Young people need guidance, support and encouragement that foster healthy development. The Adolescent Health Program emphasizes a youth development approach, which inspires adolescents to make positive decisions for healthy and successful lives.
For more information or if you have a question you'd like an answer to, contact: AdolescentHealthUnit@doh.wa.gov.
Key Activities: Adolescent and Young Adult Health Unit
Adolescent Health – Maternal Child Health Block Grant (MCHBG)
The Adolescent Health team implements strategies and activities funded by the Title V MCHBG. These strategies are focused on promoting mental and physical health and wellness by promoting and improving access to youth-friendly physical and mental healthcare and support services that young people need.
More information can be found at: Maternal and Child Health Block Grant
- Maternal Child Health Block Grant fact sheet (PDF)
- Coming soon! Adolescent Health Data Dashboard
School-Based Health Centers (SBHC)
The Washington State Department of Health's Adolescent Health Unit collaborates with internal and external partners to promote and support SBHCs in the state. This work includes promoting policy change that strengthens SBHCs, building relationships with communities that desire SBHCs in their district, and working with partners to promote sustainability.
The Washington State Legislature recently passed SHB 1225 which directs the Department of Health to form a SBHC program and work with key partners to expand and promote sustainability of SBHCs throughout the state.
Grants are available for planning, start up, and sustainability, and will be awarded to communities that represent people most impacted by health inequities.
- School-Based Health Centers Grant Program and Application | WA Portal.org
- One pager on SBHCs (PDF)
- One pager on bill implementation (PDF)
- Washington School-Based Health Alliance (wasbha.org)
- School-Based Health Alliance - Redefining Health (sbh4all.org)
If you would like to receive updates from the Adolescent Health Unit, including bill implementation and youth engagement, let us know by emailing us
Washington State Personal Responsibility Education Program (WA PREP)
WA PREP works with schools, juvenile rehabilitation facilities, and youth serving agencies statewide to implement sexual health education effective in reducing adolescent pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and HIV. Programs teach abstinence, contraception, and condom use, as well as adult preparation topics, including: parent/child communication, healthy relationships, and healthy life skills. WA PREP teaches youth ages 11-21 with age-appropriate and culturally relevant curricula for the groups and communities where they are implemented.
For more information on the state's comprehensive sexual health education law, see RCW 28A.300.475: Comprehensive sexual health education (wa.gov).
Washington Youth Sexual Health Innovation and Impact Network (WYSHIIN)
The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) in partnership with the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (NPAIHB) is coordinating WYSHIIN, a multidisciplinary network, to explore, develop, and evaluate interventions that improve access to and experience with sexual health care and services, with focus on disenfranchised and marginalized youth populations inclusive of racial and ethnic backgrounds, gender expression and LGBTQ2S+ groups. DOH and NPAIHB coordinate and co-lead WYSHIIN and fund organizations to improve youth sexual health services, and/or educate youth about sexual health services, and reduce barriers to accessing care.
More information can be found here: Washington Youth Sexual Health Innovation and Impact Network | WaPortal.org.
Youth Engagement and the Youth Advisory Council
We value the insight, expertise, experiences and contributions of young people and believe they know what issues are important to them, and what solutions will work for them. We want to engage adolescents and young adults in program planning and implementation to ensure our public health strategies are relevant and accessible to them.
We've invited young people age 13-21 from all over Washington state to apply to be a member of a new Youth Advisory Council. Beginning in March, council members will share thoughts, experiences, and recommendations about adolescent and young adult public health topics with Department of Health staff. More information is on the Youth Engagement and the Youth Advisory Council | WaPortal.org.
If you are interested in joining the Youth Advisory Council or volunteering at the Department of Health, email us at AdolescentHealthUnit@doh.wa.gov.