The period of development between childhood and adulthood—also known as adolescence—is often a tumultuous time for many individuals as they grapple with newfound independence, explore their world, and navigate social etiquette and cues from their peers, adults, and the systems with which they interact. Adolescence is a dynamic time for both brain development and social pressures, making it a critical period to understand mental, emotional, and behavioral health, yet it is often overlooked in terms of policies and service interventions, which makes many young people feel unheard when communicating their own challenges.
This virtual workshop was organized by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Forum for Children’s Well-Being (the Forum). The Forum is focused on informing a forward-looking agenda to build a stronger research and practice base around the development and implementation of programs, practices, and policies that focus on the mental, emotional, and behavioral health of children and adolescents (including those with disabilities). The workshop was held on May 5, 2020, and included discussions about best practices in providing and supporting adolescent health services and key messaging and communication strategies related to the mental, emotional, and behavioral health of adolescents. Additionally, the workshop featured a panel of youth representatives who shared their own experiences related to mental, emotional, and behavioral health. A full agenda can be found in Appendix A.
This proceedings document is organized into four chapters. Following the introduction with background on the Forum’s work, Chapter 2 presents an overview of related reports from the National Academies that have implications for the national agenda on fostering healthy mental, emotional, and behavioral development for youth. Chapter 3 highlights best practices for including youth and family voices, as well as youth perspectives on the importance of this approach. Finally, Chapter 4 focuses on implementing possible best practices and crafting effective communication to achieve the flourishing of adolescents. Copies of the speaker slides as well as archived recordings of the workshop can be viewed on the forum website at https://www.nationalacademies.org/event/05-05-2020/flourishing-in-adolescence-a-virtual-workshop.
This record of proceedings has been prepared by the workshop rapporteur as a factual summary of what occurred at the workshop. The planning committee’s role was limited to planning and convening the workshop. The views contained in the proceedings are those of individual workshop participants and do not necessarily represent the views of all workshop participants, the planning committee, or the National Academies.