Theme 3. Expanding your reach
At the end of this workshop, participants will have the tools to build their own Adolescent Outreach program. Specific learning goals for this workshop include:
The Adolescent Outreach Program was created in 1988 to allow adolescents in our community an opportunity to ask questions and have their health concerns addressed by physicians in a confidential and non-judgmental setting. The program also aimed to increase Family Medicine residents’ exposure to the health issues and concerns facing adolescents, a group that traditionally does not visit their Family Physician regularly.
In 2011, with the establishment of Sunnybrook Academic Family Health Team, inter-professional teams consisting of a physician, residents, dietitian and social worker as appropriate started visiting local high schools to provide education on topics such as mental health, sexual health, body image etc. Each session is approximately one hour in duration, with approximately 20 – 25 students in attendance. Students have the opportunity to submit written questions anonymously and ask questions directly on pre-identified topics. Teams led by residents use various interactive methods such as games/quizzes/small group activities to engage adolescents. With information technology available at the finger tips of adolescents, it’s necessary to have a secure platform to provide correct health education early. Therefore, primary care involvement in Adolescent health needs to be increased across the province. Our program is one such example of a platform to educate and promote health for adolescents.
This session will outline the process of creating a formal inter-professional Adolescent Outreach program in a Family Health Team, whether it be in an Academic setting or not. We will share our best practices as well as lessons learned since the establishment of the program.