Denver Public Health is dedicated to the health and wellness of Denver's youth. In alignment with the state of Colorado's youth health efforts, we define the period of youth as ages 9 - 25. Our programs work to ensure that all of Denver's youth have the opportunity to a live a long and healthy life.
We believe "youth are resources to be developed, rather than problems to be solved." - McLaughlin, M. W., M. A. Iriby, et al. (2001). Urban Sanctuaries: Neighborhood Organizations in the lives and Futures of Inner-City Youth, Wiley.)
Why focus on youth?
Transitioning from a child to an adult is an important developmental time in a person's life. Young people's brains and bodies are changing and they are faced with many important decisions on a variety of topics. The decisions require knowledge and skills. How they deal with challenges, how they set goals and achieve success, and how they talk with their families about their decisions are among the complex set of questions young people ask and answer every day - all which sets the stage for their health and success as adults.
Guiding framework for our youth health program
Denver Public Health's Youth Health Program applies a positive youth development framework to our efforts to advance youth health. In practice, this approach guides us to incorporate the development of skills, opportunities and authentic relationships into programs, practices and policies so that young people reach their full potential.