SAHM Position & Statement Papers
- Mental health is essential for normal adolescent development. When adolescents’ mental health is compromised, adolescents, their families, their communities, and society all bear a heavy burden. Mental health services are essential for adolescents having problems in this area. However, problems related to financing continue to limit many adolescents’ access to mental health services in the United States .
- New vaccines are being targeted to help protect the adolescent population from disease. The Society for Adolescent Medicine strongly urges compliance with adolescent vaccination recommendations provided by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. These vaccines will significantly impact the health and well-being of the adolescent population. To enhance vaccination compliance and access to prevention health care and promotion, the Society supports linking vaccination to the three distinct comprehensive preventive health care visits already recommended by multiple organizations during early, middle, and late adolescence.
- The incidence of meningococcal disease peaks during the neonatal years and again during the adolescent years. Most adolescent cases are vaccine preventable using the current tetravalent meningococcal vaccines. In February 2005, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended routine immunization with the tetravalent conjugate meningococcal vaccine of all 11–12-year-olds, with the interim recommendation including all 14–15-year-olds, and special targeted populations to include incoming college freshmen living in dormitories, military recruits, certain travelers, microbiologists working with Neisseria meningitidis, and those with terminal complement component deficiencies and asplenia.
- Recent attention has focused on the use of antidepressant medications in the treatment of depression in children and adolescents. The United States (U.S.) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has required manufacturers to include a “black box” warning label on antidepressants that alerts health care providers and consumers to an increased risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children and adolescents being treated with these medications (FDA Public Health Advisory: Suicidality in Children and Adolescents Being Treated with Antidepressant Medications.