Health & Recreation

The health pillar of the Mayor's Youth Opportunity Initiave focuses on programs supporting improved access to nutritional foods, recreation, medical treatment and mental health resources for young people.

2017 Summer of Opportunity Priorities

  • Pilot peer health educator model
  • Focus on hiring and training six high school males to serve as peer health educators
  • In addition to outreach, engagement and education, the pilot will also inform changes to health curriculum to better reach youth vulnerable to suicide

Key Programs

Summer Food Service Program

The City of Seattle's Summer Food and Expanded Recreation Program offers free lunches and free drop-in activities to youth during the summer months. Programming helps ensure that vulnerable youth have access to healthy meals and recreation opportunities throughout the summer. In 2016, together with the United Way, we served more than 40,000 meals at more than 20 sites across the city

Teen Life Centers and Teen Late Night Programs

Seattle Parks has three Teen Life Centers (Southwest Teen Life Center, Meadowbrook Teen Life Center, Garfield Teen Life Center) that offer a wide array of programming to area youth including special events, late night programs, computer labs, recording studios, cooking classes and much more. Late Night is a safe and supportive environment for teens ages 13-19. This recreation based program is held on Fridays and Saturday evenings from 7 p.m.-12 a.m. with a focus on positive teen interactions and engagement where all teens are welcomed.

Summer Day Camps

Seattle Parks offers hundreds of weekly camps for all youth ages 3-17, including youth athletics summer sports camps and camps for youth with special needs. Find more information here.

Student Health Resource Center

School-Based Health Centers (SBHCs) are available in 25 Seattle public schools. They are operated by community health agencies and provide comprehensive primary medical and mental health care to students to support academic success. 

Health Services for Homeless Youth

The City funds a variety of medical and dental services for homeless youth that are provided by Public Health and community partners, as well as enrollment assistance with health insurance, Orca LIFT, Basic Food, and other benefits.  

Nurse Family Partnership

The City provides funding so that all young, low-income, first time Seattle mothers and their babies can participate in this evidence-based program that has demonstrated long-term benefits, including 90 percent of these women continuing to progress in school or employment. Annually, over 220 of Seattle mothers served by NFP are 24 years of age or younger.  

Suicide Prevention

An average of two young people between the ages of 10 and 24 kill themselves each week in Washington state. In 2013, youth ages 15 to 19 accounted for 11% of attempted hospitalizations. Although recent data show decreases in the numbers of youth reporting that they've attempted suicide, increased prevention and awareness continue to be essential. King County offers a variety of resources for those experiencing suicidal thoughts or who know someone who is.