As Title V agencies and others consider how to improve young adult health, strategies used by several ”early adopters” can serve as a guide. These early adopters – state programs, nonprofits and others – have implemented young adult initiatives that address various health issues. While one state may be concerned about high rates of unintended pregnancy, another might focus on improving receipt of preventive services. The unique strengths and challenges of each state underscore the need to use diverse means to improve young adult health.
This report describes promising strategies from these early adopters. Strategies were identified from interviews with state Title V programs that have selected a YA state measure and a review of state-level YA policies/programs. The following five strategies can help states gain traction on young adult health:
|1. Collect data & adopt a young adult health measure||Use data to determine the highest need areas for young adults in your state. Adopt a state performance or outcome measure to help quantify your goals, implement strategies and track progress over time.|
|2. Build collaborative networks||Partner with groups and individuals that have experience working with young adults and/or expertise in the subject area you’ve chosen. Form ongoing relationships with key stakeholders, especially youth-driven organizations.|
|3. Provide training on young adult health||Educate youth-serving professionals, including Title V staff, on strategies to engage young adults and tools to help professionals in their daily work.|
|4. Create targeted programs||Develop programming that is adapted to the needs and risk factors relevant to young adults.|
|5. Use innovative outreach||Leverage creative marketing to improve young adults’ uptake of services. Involve young people in the creation of promotional materials and use social media to reach a wider youth audience.|