Adolescence is a period of transition with significant physical, psychological and social development. In addition, adolescents today are faced with various challenges brought about by changes in the society. Inability to cope with the changes would have a direct impact on adolescents' psychosocial health and the development of interpersonal relationships. Besides, it would also increase the risk of taking part in health-comprising behaviours like smoking, drinking, substance abuse, casual sex, deliberate self-harm, suicide, etc.
To empower our adolescents to face the challenges of growing up, the Student Health Service of the Department of Health launched the Adolescent Health Programme (AHP) in 2001. The programme is to provide quality health promotion services for our adolescents using a multi-disciplinary team approach. It is an outreaching service for secondary schools implemented by our professional staff including doctors, nurses, dietitians, social workers and clinical psychologists.
Since the launching of the AHP, the programme has been receiving good support and response. University of Hong Kong carried out an outcome evaluation of this programme among the eighteen pilot schools enrolled. The results showed that students who participated in the programme performed better than those who did not in terms of health knowledge, attitudes, psychosocial health status and behaviours. A total of 324 schools enrolled in the programme in the school year 2010-2011. The Department of Health will continue this programme and revise the "Basic Life Skills Training" programme to meet the needs of adolescents. University of Hong Kong was also commissioned to evaluate the effectiveness of the revised programme
Programmes for students focus on promoting their psychosocial health like self-understanding and acceptance, emotion and stress management as well as interpersonal and problem-solving skills.
Programmes for parents and teachers aim at improving their understanding of adolescents' psychosocial health and equipping them with the appropriate skills to assist adolescents throughout their development.
For more information about Adolescent Health Programme, please visit http://www.ahpshs.gov.hk.