• Adolescents are Vulnerable by virtue of:
- Normal Developmental Processes.
- Family / Peer / Environmental Influences that may be positive (protective) as well as negative (e.g. broken family, alcoholism in family members or peers).
- Life style Patterns that they choose;
and are “ Risk” because of Certain Behaviours.
Some adolescents are more Vulnerable and need special attention.
Special Attention Groups of Adolescents are:
• “Out of school” adolescents and street adolescents.
• Sexually abused adolescents.
• Commercial sex workers.
• Adolescents with mental and physical disabilities.
• Orphan Adolescents, those in foster care and institutions.
• Working adolescents.
The adolescents who fall in the special attention groups are more at risk of identity crisis and low self esteem, guilt, frustration and mental problems. They are also the group who can be moulded and helped to change their erratic behaviours to more responsible ones to improve their self worth and esteem.
Given the turbulent period and the multiple challenges it is not strange that adolescents have unmet needs in many areas: regarding nutrition, sexuality, reproductive health, managing emotions and stress, mental health, substance abuse, etc. They require appropriate information and skills to negotiate adolescence safely. Adolescents need to be empowered with correct, age appropriate and current information and skills in all these areas to develop and practice responsible behaviuours to protect themselves from risks as well as to help them seek appropriate services.
Information for parents, teachers and social workers is equally important as they play key roles in adolescent helath and development.
The various issues related to adolescence, grouting up, body image etc. have not only you huge socio-economic impact but also impact the National Health Indicators.