Jiahui Health is launching a clinical teen health service this month. The Teen Health Program will be the first in Shanghai to provide specialized screening and follow-up care aimed exclusively at 12-17 year-olds, focusing on three key pillars of teen health: physical health, emotional wellbeing, and nutrition.
Today more than ever, teenagers face an increasing risk of mental health problems. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), an estimated 3.1 million adolescents aged 12 to 17 in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in 2016. Adolescent depression and suicide rates are on the rise worldwide. Statistics across the board point to a range of associations, including social media use, peer pressure, school-related stress, and lack of nutritional awareness, among others.
“It’s difficult to keep an eye on everything your child gets up to,” says Dr. William Yu, Chief Pediatrician at Jiahui Health. “Adolescence is a time when young people begin to identify with their peers more than their parents, so communication can start to break down and it’s harder to see what’s going on under the surface.
“Our aim is to pick up potential problems, resolve them before they get worse, and help teens to maintain their general health during these crucial formative years.”
Jiahui Health’s Teen Health Program will provide a comprehensive screening service consisting of a physical examination and lab tests, an emotional health questionnaire and a nutritional questionnaire. After the screening, a referral to a nutritionist, psychologist, or other related medical specialist may be recommended, depending on the results.
All teens who are signed up for the Teen Health Program receive one year free standard membership to Jiahui Wellness Center for themselves and family members. Teens who test positive in screening will get a 20% discount on a second consultation to address any issues raised.
“The three areas we’re targeting are all important in their own right, but they’re also connected in complicated ways. For example, nutrition during adolescence is much more important than people think; it has a huge impact on overall physical and emotional health, as well as affecting sleep quality and concentration.
“Teens are quite susceptible to behaviors like fad dieting, skipping meals, or overeating, which in turn affects their mood and their physical health. These behaviors are difficult to break out of, especially if they’re reinforced by the peer group and popular trends. So a big part of what we want to do with the Teen Health Program is health promotion as well as anticipatory guidance.”
The Teen Health Program is the latest in a line of multidisciplinary services that Jiahui Health has launched since opening its first clinic in 2016. With a healthcare ecosystem that now consists of two clinics, an international hospital, and a wellness center, it remains committed to bringing affordable, international standard healthcare to China.
“Every teenager deserves to reach if not exceed their potential,” says Dr. Yu. “We’re here to help remove the obstacles for them.”