About the Adolescent and Young Adult Health Unit (AYAH)

VISION

Serve as a statewide leader in optimizing the health, well-being, and development of all adolescents and young adults. 

MISSION

The AYAH Unit - in collaboration with partners - provides programs and influences policies that promote the health and well-being of adolescents and young adults where they live, learn, work, and play.

VALUES

Accessibility  Innovation
Data-driven programs Life-course theory
Equity and social justice Outward mindset
Holistic approach Partnership
Human-centered Youth voice

BACKGROUND and CONTEXT

Washington State has an increasing population of adolescents. The health status of adolescent and young adults in Washington State is reflected across several data sources including those that show teen pregnancy rates, repeat teen pregnancy rates, and sexually transmitted infections are lower than the national average for some demographic groups and higher for others (see our environmental scan for more detail). Educational and social outcomes, such as graduation rates, housing, childcare, and healthcare access also differ for under-resourced groups and historically marginalized populations. The Adolescent and Young Adult Health Unit focus work on changing these trends and utilizes evaluation data as metrics for supporting adolescents and young adults across the state to receive the skills, healthcare and social/emotional support needed to reach their optimal state of health.