Adolescent Health in Texas

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Welcome to Maternal & Child Health’s Adolescent Health website.

Texans can dial 2-1-1 (option 6) for information on COVID-19 and local community resources on health care, utilities, food, housing and more. Wait times are currently higher than normal. Visit Health and Human Services for More COVID-19 information

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in monitoring the new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‑19) that is causing an outbreak of respiratory illness worldwide. Visit our website to learn more.

While adolescents are generally healthy, substance abuse and other risky behaviors can be common problems. These health issues can have long-term effects. Follow these links to learn more:


What’s New
Important Numbers
Positive Youth Development
For Health Care Providers
Related Sites
Texas Healthy Adolescent Initiative
Sexual Violence Prevention  


Only 8% of people keep their New Year’s resolutions. Every January, over half of us make goals for the new year ahead.  

Reasons we don’t succeed:

  • Our goals are often unrealistic (impossible to meet)
  • We set too many goals for ourselves all at once (instead of focusing on one at a time)
  • We attempt to go “cold turkey” on our old habits
  • Often, we fail to realize that new habits take time to develop (at least 66 consecutive days to be exact)
  • We view January 1st as our only start date instead of realizing that every single day offers us a new beginning  

Here are some thoughtful New Year’s resolution ideas for 2020 that you might keep.  


Eat healthier: Proper nutrition is important. It’s VERY important for young people that are growing and maturing. Switch out the candy bar for a granola bar.

Do some type of exercise daily: Many teens spend more time on phones or tablets then on physical activity. Try walking with a friend.

Get enough sleep: Youth need 9-10 hours of sleep. Between school and activities, that’s hard to do. Look at small time changes to get a better night’s sleep.

Find your passion: Find a hobby or interest that inspires you. It could be writing or drawing. Having a passion helps with stress and provides a positive outlook on life.


Be a Role Model: “Do as I say, not as I do” doesn’t work. Make good choices in your own life to show youth how it can be done.

Be open and listen: Adolescents can be moody. Most want, and need, a connection to a caring adult. Show that you care and are available if youth want to talk.

Be supportive: Youth are going to stumble as they figure out who they are and what they want to do. Let them know that you’re there to help them.  

Steps to succeed:

  • Start small (like really, REALLY small)
  • Forgive yourself for set-backs
  • Be Consistent
  • Celebrate small wins
  • Remember why you made the resolution

For more information, please contact us at:  

Texas Department of State Health Services
Maternal & Child Health
PO Box 149347, Mail Code 1922
Austin, TX 78714-9347
(512) 776-7373: Phone
(512) 458-7658: Fax


External links to other sites are intended to be informational and do not have the endorsement of the Texas Department of State Health Services. These external links may not be accessible to persons with disabilities. For more information about Maternal and Child Health or information regarding adolescent health in Texas, please email or call (512) 776-7373.


Last updated April 9, 2020