The Health Clinic Content Area
The Health Clinic encourages youth to explore being healthy and making good health choices. This content area is comprised of three units:
Click here for a complete Map of The Health Clinic.
Being able to manage their own health care and health issues helps young people go on to college, hold down a job and develop a career, live on their own, develop healthy relationships, and safely engage in recreational activities. The Health Clinic is a place for youth to get answerson issues related to their health. Although it is not a real clinic with real physicians, The Health Clinic contains useful information for youth about managing health care and preventing health problems. The Health Clinic helps youth learn about the health documentation needed for optimum adult care, how to make medical appointments and find transportation, how to speak with a physician, how to understand health insurance, and how to ask about health-related topics they may not understand. The Health Clinic also addresses healthy lifestyle choices, including information about sexuality and parenting.
Youth with disabilities have additional material to engage with in The Heallth Clinic. This includes material to help them understand how their disabilities can affect their health, the importance of managing their specific health concerns or disability, and more. While The Health Clinic cannot answer specific questions about individual concerns, Youthhood Guidescan utilize this content area to initiate discussions with youth regarding how to find a local doctor or clinic specializing in a particular disability or chronic illness.
By reading and completing online activities in The Health Clinic, youth will achieve the following outcomes:
- Learn about and understand health-related issues, including their own health concerns/disabilities.
- Learn about and understand how to stay healthy.
- Learn how to advocate for their health needs.
- Learn how to communicate with medical professionals.
- Learn about health insurance.
- Learn more about sexuality.
- Develop goals in the above areas in their Life Map.
Activities to Assign
Before leading youth through The Health Clinic, please take into account the following:
- The area of sexuality can be difficult to discuss. Be prepared to face difficult questions and conversations if you choose to pursue this part of the unit under The Health Clinic.
- If you are in a school setting, the area of sexuality may be addressed within another forum, such as an after-school program or a health class already being offered. In this case, we suggest collaborating with a program your school already offers to address this area, as well as involving the school nurse or a Health teacher for support during this part of the curriculum.
In addition to the reading material available in each unit, there are numerous activities you may choose to assign youth. These include questions to consider for discussion or reflection, online and hands-on activities to complete, and other Web sites to explore.
1. Lead a Discussion
When working with youth in this content area, you may want to facilitate a group discussion about the topics explored in each unit. Below we’ve provided sample discussion questions to help youth explore each unit’s topic in more depth. These questions can also be used as writing assignments for youth to reflect on a topic, either confidentially in their Private Journal, or to be shared with you as their Youthhood Guide in their Class Notebook. (Note: You have the option to view and comment on their work in the Class Notebook. See Viewing & Commenting on Entries for more information.)
- Why is it important to understand how to be healthy?
- Do you currently have any concerns about your health?
- Have you gone to the doctor by yourself? Why or why not? If you have, what was it like to advocate for your own health needs?
- Why is it important to understand sexuality and healthy relationships?
- If you have a disability, what unique things do you need to consider when it comes to your health?
- What is advocacy?
- Why do you have to advocate for your own health needs?
- What worries you most about trying to advocate for what you need?
- Do you have health insurance? Do you know what your health insurance covers?
- What kind of health insurance you have?
- How much does your health insurance cost and who pays for it?
- Why is it important to have health insurance?
2. Assign a "Youthhood Poll"
The Youthhood homepage has a new poll question every few weeks. Youth must be logged in to vote on a poll. See About the Youthhood Poll for more information.
3. Assign "My Youthhood" Activities
Here at The Youthhood we’ve designed numerous online activities to help youth build a strong foundation of knowledge and to apply the material on the Web site to their own life. These include the Private Journal, Activities Folder, Life Map, and Class Notebook and are part of the "My Youthhood" menu youth see when they log in. See Online Activities for more information.
Click here to Preview Online Activities in The Health Clinic.
4. Assign Other Web Sites to Explore
There are some terrific Web sites available for youth to learn more about the topics covered in The Youthhood. You may wish to assign youth the task of exploring some of these Web sites.
Click here to Preview Web Sites Linked in The Health Clinic.
5. Assign Hands-On Activities
In addition to the existing materials on the site, you might create additional real-world, hands-on activities so that youth can see the concepts in action. The following are examples of hands-on activities you might assign youth in The Health Clinic:
- Have youth schedule an informational interview with a doctor to find out what information doctors need from patients and how a real health clinic works.
- Provide youth with literature on two different health insurance plans and ask them to figure out how they differ in coverage.
- Have youth go home and discuss their health insurance coverage with their family and then write about what they learned in their Class Notebook.
- If you have youth with disabilities or chronic illnesses in your class or group, you may want to take additional time to discuss disabilities and chronic illnesses and their effect on health and wellbeing. If youth volunteer to talk about how their disabilities or chronic illnesses affect them and their daily activities, it would be very beneficial for others who do not have a disability or chronic illness to hear about this. However, you should not pressure any individual to share personal information.
Developing a Lesson Plan
We’ve provided some tips on how you might incorporate the interactive features with the content pages and your own supplemental activities to optimize learning for youth. See Developing a Lesson Plan.
Here are additional online resources for you as the Youthhood Guide to learn more about the topics presented within each unit of The Health Clinic. Titles with "(PDF)" are links to PDF documents, and require Adobe Acrobat Reader (free) to download.
- National Center on Physical Activity and Disability (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)) An informative Web site about physical activity and disability - search for sports & exercises, view guidelines to consider before starting an exercise program, exercise factsheets, information about adaptive sports, and more.
- MayoClinic.com: Tools for healthier lives Information on a healthier life.
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services) Easy-to-use Web pages leading to consumer health resources.
- Sexuality and Persons with Disabilities (Disables World Toward Tomorrow) Information regarding disability and sexuality including sexual concerns of men and women with disabilities
- Back to School with Allergies and Asthma (American Academy of Allergies, Asthma, and Immunology)
- American Diabetes Association
- National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases (National Institutes of Health) Provides free online diabetes publications.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (National Institutes of Health) Fact sheets on drug abuse, tobacco, and addiction research
- First-Aid Guide from MayoClinic.com Specific information on first aid and many other health topics.
- American Medical Association Education for consumers and professionals.
- MedicAlert Membership and Medical IDs (MedicAlert Foundation)
- National Mental Health Information Center (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) Easy-to-use, attractive set of Web pages leading to consumer health resources. Fact sheets on mental health topics.
- Mental Health Center from MayoClinic.com Reliable information on mental health.
- National Institute of Mental Health (National Institutes of Health) Latest information about symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of various mental illnesses.
- Tattoos and Permanent Makeup (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) A fact sheet from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration providing information on the possible risks involved in getting and removing tattoos, and how to report adverse reactions.
- Alcohol and Drug Abuse Resources for Teens (ProjectKnow: Understanding Addiction)
Being Your Own Advocate