CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) works to protect the nation’s youth from HIV, STDs, and pregnancy through programs, policies, and partnerships. School-based surveillance provides critical data about health risk behaviors and experiences facing youth.
These data help inform effective school-based prevention programs that connect education and public health efforts to strategies that work:
Schools districts funded by CDC to implement school-based prevention programs are effective at expanding health education, increasing access to health services, and improving school environments.
- From 2013 through 2018, 17 school districts funded by CDCpdf icon expanded sexual health education, increased access to sexual health services, and improved school connectedness.
- The 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) data collected in these districts showed significant declines in the percentage of students who had ever had sex, were currently sexually active, or had four or more sexual partners in their lifetime.
Making the Grade: Mental Health
CDC’s national 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) data provides an important pre-COVID-19 snapshot of the mental health of U.S. youth. More than 1 in 3 high school students reporting persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness in 2019—a 40% increase since 2009. Support from schools, families, and communities is key to changing this trend and promoting good mental health among adolescents. Find out how schools were able to provide student support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
DASH Program Highlights
CDC School Programs Empower Students for Success
For 30 years, CDC has worked with education and public health agencies to promote and implement school health programs, policies, and practices that protect adolescent health. CDC’s long term investment in partnerships with education agencies has led to better school health policies and programs at the state and local levels.
This story highlights DASH’s policy work over three decades.