HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) It is Teen Health Week in the Commonwealth.
On Monday, Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine and Deputy Secretary for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Dr. Loren Robinson joined local students and medical experts in the Capitol Rotunda to discuss how teens across the commonwealth can improve their health.
“Talking and being open to young people about relationships, diet, exercise, self-harm, substance use, and violence is the first step in curbing or stopping destructive behaviors,” said Dr. Robinson. “It is important to destigmatize issues such as the opioid epidemic to these students and help them understand that they are not alone and there is no shame in getting help.”
Students read the proclamation from Governor Tom Wolf declaring January 9-13 to be Teen Health Week.
“The habits you develop for your health and well-being as a young person will be the habits that you take with you into adulthood,” said Dr. Levine. “Additionally, as a teenager, your body is still growing, so making healthy decisions is vital to proper development. We want you to build a strong foundation that will benefit you now and for the rest of your lives.”
In addition to the Department of Health speakers, Drs. Laura Offutt and Robert Sharrar spoke to the audience of local school students about teen health. Dr. Sharrar is an expert in preventive medicine. Dr. Offutt is the founder and creator of Teen Health Week.
This year’s Pennsylvania Teen Health Week daily activities are focused around specific themes:
· Monday, January 9: Healthy diet and exercise
· Tuesday, January 10: Violence
· Wednesday, January 11: Mental health
· Thursday, January 12: Sexual development and health
· Friday, January 13: Substance use and abuse