Join the Youth Health Council

Youth Health Council
Calling all rising 9th–12th graders in Wake County!

Raise your voice to guide our public health work!

Calling all rising 9th–12th graders – we want to hear from you!  Wake County is looking for teens to serve on the 2024-2025 Youth Health Council. This volunteer leadership group provides the opportunity for youth to share their voices on all things public health - from the impact of COVID-19 to mental health concerns to nutrition and more. As adults, we want to improve our inclusivity and understanding, but we can’t do it without YOU!

Teens meet bi-monthly throughout the year to complete advocacy projects but are provided additional optional career development opportunities like field trips, meeting elected officials, and volunteering. Check out some of the Council's past projects below! 

Register now!

Youth Health Council Projects

Check out some of the work our youth have created. 

Youth PSAs (in partnership with NCDHHS):

Youth Health Council Zine

Youth Spotlight

Youth leaders hold award earned for poster presentation

On Friday, February 9th, 2024, the Wake County Youth Health Council (YHC), consisting of High School students, participated in the MaryAnn Black Health Equity 2024 Symposium. During the event's poster session, they showcased their work titled "Future Leaders in Health – Wake County’s Youth Health Council," earning them the prestigious MaryAnn Health Equity Impact Award! We are immensely proud and thrilled by the well-deserved recognition our youth have received. Their dedication and tireless efforts in crafting projects that highlight their experiences throughout the pandemic, while also developing resources for youth facing mental health challenges is admirable.

Pictured are Ananiah, Drelise, and Azuriah. The award was presented by Dr. Steven Patierno—Deputy Director, DCI. 

Important Statistics

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the emotional and mental well-being of youth throughout our country and specifically here in Wake County, worsening the pre-existing concerns about youth mental health. The National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) reports:

  • 64% of teens feel the world is more stressful now than when parents were their age
  • 1 in 4 have been diagnosed with a mental health condition
  • 2 in 3 agree schools should teach about what mental health is, including where and how to seek treatment
  • 67% think schools should offer days off for mental health
  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 15 to 24 in the U.S. Nearly 20% of high school students report serious thoughts of suicide and 9% have made an attempt to take their lives
  • Only 48% talk regularly with parents about their mental health and only 22% talk regularly with friends
  • 45% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year
  • 60.3% of youth with major depression do not receive any mental health treatment
  • 1 in 10 Latinx youth have lost one of their primary caregivers throughout the COVID pandemic