Sexual and reproductive health

International Youth Day 2014: Mental Health Matters

Photo of adolescents in South America
Photoshare

Around 1 in 6 persons in the world is an adolescent: that is 1.2 billion people aged 10 to 19. Promoting healthy practices during adolescence, and taking steps to better protect young people from health risks are critical for the prevention of health problems in adulthood. Building life skills in children and adolescents and providing them with psychosocial support in schools and other community settings can help promote good mental health. Programmes to help strengthen ties between adolescents and their families are also important so that if problems arise, they can be detected and managed by competent and caring health workers.

WHO commits to stand against female genital mutilation (FGM) and child, early and forced marriage (CEFM)

22 July 2014 – WHO participated in the first Girl Summit in London. Organized by the UK Government, and co-hosted by UNICEF, the summit aimed to mobilize domestic and international efforts to end FGM and child, early and forced marriage within a generation. The summit invited dialogue and commitments from partner agencies, the private sector, religious organizations, civil society, and governments around the world.

Very young adolescents

Women and young adolescents, India
Curt Carnemark / World Bank
Women and young adolescents, India

While physical, psychological and social development extends from childhood through adolescence and into adulthood, there is growing recognition that early adolescence (10-14 years) is an especially crucial phase. There is also widespread recognition that early adolescence has been/is being neglected both in research and in action.

Overcoming barriers to adolescent health education and health services

Adolescents work in small groups during a workshop on reproductive health, Bangladesh.
BCCP/Photoshare
Adolescents work in small groups during a workshop on reproductive health, Bangladesh.

When national Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health strategies are not implemented effectively, adolescents and young people are unable to obtain the sexuality and reproductive health education they need in their schools and communities, and sexual and reproductive health services they need from health facilities in their communities. The result is unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions and STIs including HIV infection.

Adolescents

Strategic areas of work

Related links

Sample core instruments

These instruments are intended to be no more than a starting point for investigators wishing to study the sexual and reproductive health of young people. Authors caution that these instruments should always be adapted to local circumstances and research priorities and, wherever possible, be used in conjunction with each other.

Joining forces to prevent early marriage

Video

Key note address delivered by Dr Marleen Temmerman Viewing Gender, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Very Young Adolescents through a Wide Angle Lens.

WHO Media Centre