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Adolescent Health

Letter to Youth

teen in cap and gown looking in mirror. Dear Friend,

Isn’t it exciting to be an adolescent!  You are growing up from a child into a man or woman.  There are lots of changes going on in your body and in the way you think and feel about things. These changes can seem confusing and overwhelming at times.

Also, as an adolescent, you have more freedom to be on your own and make your own choices.  This is fun, but you may not always know what choice to make. Sometimes you do know what choice to make, but may let other people change your mind. (Even adults do that!)

Being an adolescent can be hard.  I care about you and want to make sure that you know something VERY important:

The choices that you make NOW can have positive (good) or negative (bad) consequences for you today and maybe for the rest of your life.  Please make the choice to be safe and healthy today and in the future.

Here is a list of some positive choices that you can decide to make.  And you can say, “These are my choices and I won’t let anyone change my mind!” I will...

  • Stay away from tobacco, alcohol, and drugs
  • Keep my mind and body active
  • Eat and drink what is good for my body
  • Drive cars safely and not ride with an unsafe driver
  • Be with people and in places that are safe and healthy for me
  • Wait to have sex until I am older and with a healthy partner who I trust
  • Protect myself from having a baby until my partner and I are ready to take care of one
  • Protect myself from diseases, including HIV/AIDS
  • Reach out for help if I’m sad, scared, or unsure what to do

Share your “Positive Choices Plan” with family and friends and ask them to help you meet your goals.  You may want to talk about it with other trusted adults, too, like teachers, your doctor, or nurses at your local health department.

Make sure to click on the Resources link for more information. I hope that it will be helpful to you!

Martha Hinson, MSW, LMSW
Adolescent Health Coordinator

P.S. Sometimes parents have a hard time communicating with their teens. Let yours know about this website.  It may help them out.