Youth programs at El Paso County Public Health focus on promoting healthy youth behaviors and development to improve lifelong health outcomes. We are committed to collaborating with community members from a wide range of disciplines to support our youth initiatives. Our efforts are focused on prevention, policy, and systems change.
In June 2016, Public Health convened community leaders from cities and towns across El Paso County to discuss concerns facing our youth, and to prioritize their commitment for youth advocacy work. The group chose teen suicide prevention and youth substance use as the top two issues.
Public Health youth health initiative focus areas:
- Suicide Prevention
- Tobacco Use Prevention
- Substance Use Prevention
- Maternal and Child Health (MCH)
Now more than ever, it is important that we listen and learn from our youth. We are partnering with local agencies to promote the implementation of the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey in El Paso County. The Healthy Kids Colorado Survey will allow youth-serving organizations across the county to better understand the unique health climate surrounding youth. Information gathered will be used to identify health priorities and enhance school, community, and state based programs and policies. To learn more about the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey visit www.colorado.gov/cdphe/hkcs or email [email protected].
Youth suicide is complex and requires the community work together to address personal, family and community factors that can lead to suicide. In July 2016, Public Health began convening the Youth Suicide Prevention Work Group. The work group seeks to develop a circle of care for youth at-risk for suicide to assure they receive the resources and care they need. Community partners involved in this effort include school districts; youth-serving organizations; community organizations focused on mental health, suicide prevention and behavioral health; medical providers; law enforcement and fire departments; and county agencies, such as the Coroner’s Office and the Department of Human Services.
Tobacco Use Prevention
Nearly 90% of all tobacco users started before the age of 18, for this reason it is imperative to prevent youth from using tobacco products. The Tobacco Education and Prevention Partnership (TEPP) focuses policy level changes to prevent youth from becoming tobacco users, help youth quit tobacco and decrease secondhand smoke exposure in El Paso County. To promote youth tobacco prevention, TEPP partners with local schools to provide tobacco education; develop, strengthen and implement youth access policies; and expand secondhand smoke protections.
For more information visit Tobacco Education and Prevention Partnership (TEPP)
Substance Use Prevention
El Paso County Public Health is one of 46 agencies statewide implementing Communities that Care (CTC), a process that uses proven youth development strategies to prevent substance use among youth. This collaborative approach has been proven to reduce alcohol, tobacco use, crime and violence among youth. The City of Fountain is the first community in El Paso County to implement CTC.
For more information visit Communities that Care (CTC)
Maternal and Child Health (MCH)
The Maternal and Child Health (MCH) supports activities in the following areas:
HCP, a Program for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs
HCP works to improve the health, development and wellbeing of people up to age 21 who have special health care needs. HCP nurses and coordinators arrange referrals for medical and developmental services, coordinate medical and social support services, and connect families to community resources. HCP also supports youth with healthcare needs in foster care in El Paso County.
Early Childhood Obesity Prevention (ECOP)
MCH works to address the obesity epidemic by increasing healthy eating and active living (HEAL) during early childhood (0-5). Activities are designed to provide parents and child care providers with education, tools and resources related to HEAL.
Promoting Connectedness, Resiliency and Life Skills
Public Health aims to enhance community-wide efforts to decrease bullying and suicide rates by focusing on prevention and early intervention efforts. We are working to increase awareness, knowledge and resources related to connectedness, resiliency, and life skills for elementary age children.