Lifestyle and Health

The NCYD under the guidance of The National Youth Policy 2004 has adopted a holistic approach to encouraging the maintenance of healthy living among youth. In fact all our initiatives subscribe to the principle that healthy living encapsulates total wellness of: mind, body and soul and spirit.  We define a healthy youth as one who does not smoke, is physically fit, maintains a balance nutrition, is of sound mental and spiritual health, practices good hygiene and a responsible healthy sexual lifestyle.

The guided vision of the NCYD is to see all young people embrace healthy lifestyles and enjoy optimum physical and mental health. With our focus on youth in institutional care, youth with disabilities, rural youth and youth at risk of early pregnancy, substance misuse, HIV and other STIs, we have embarked on making this vision a reality by:

  • Creating links, through advocacy networks, a supportive policy environment that fosters positive health outcomes. The NCYD was instrumental in the Ministry of Health HIV Management in Schools Policy and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security HIV in the Work Place Policy. The NCYD continues to review and revise existing and proposed legislation as well as support the establishment of youth-focused advocacy coalitions to promote youth policies geared towards promoting healthy lifestyles.

  • Improving knowledge, influencing attitudes and selected priority health practice and behaviour. The NCYD have adopted a multi-sectoral approach in developing a cohesive set of programme strategies for targeting selected priority behaviours. Ongoing workshops are conducted in communities across Jamaica to raise awareness of specific negative health behaviours including substance abuse, early initiation to sexual intercourse and unprotected sex.

  • Improving access to and the quality of health services. The NCYD has embarked on building on the concept of youth-friendly services by the expansion of non-clinical settings. All Officers are VCT trained and in the future will undergo training in phlebotomy. The NCYD is expanding access to counseling and effective contraception through the provision of condoms as a way to reduce unwanted pregnancies and abortion. NCYD continues to provide referral services for youth who misuse drugs and are suspected of having mental health issues.