Peer to Peer Resources

Creating Youth Advisory Councils Toolkit


A Free 2-hour Youth-Facilitated Interactive Workshop

The youth leaders of Kaiser Permanente’s Community Health Action Team (CHAT) created this innovative workshop to support health care professionals in optimizing youth wellness visits. This unique training explores youth solutions for establishing an emotionally safe environment where young people feel empowered to discuss and address their health concerns.

Recent research, published in the Annals of Family Medicine, found that one-third of teenagers did not go to even one routine well-child visit between the ages of 13 and 17. CHAT, in partnership with The Colorado State Youth Development Plan, surveyed their peers to discover the reasons why youth do not go to the doctor. The number one reason youth gave for not going to the doctor is feeling that they will be judged for their behavior choices. In YouthCHAT, a team of trained high school facilitators/actors presents to health care providers effective, youth-focused interview strategies and techniques for establishing an emotionally safe interview environment during a wellness check.

This unique training offers health care providers:

  • Information on how youth perceive their wellness check-ups
  • Opportunities to participate in youth-led discussions
  • Interactive activities exploring what youth believe are the best strategies for creating
    a safe interview environment
  • “Real-life,” practice interviews through role-playing with a youth actor, followed by constructive
    feedback on interview techniques

Learning Objectives:

Health care providers learn skills that increase their ability to talk with youth about their health concerns and challenges. Participants will explore:

  • Verbal and nonverbal communication
  • How to ask useful and open-ended questions
  • What to include and avoid when interviewing a young person
  • How to engage youth in conversations about their health
  • How to alter the negative perception adolescents have about health care
  • How to make awkward questions comfortable

Rationale for the Youth-involved Training Model:

  • To engage youth in shaping their own health
  • To bridge the gap between adolescent and adult cultures
  • To give providers a unique insight into youth’s ideas around improving their health care

To schedule a workshop contact Sam Wood, email or call 303-514-9576


Avatars Anonymous: A 6-Step Program (AA.6)

The objective of AA.6 is to teach high school students the importance of self-advocacy, how to implement longstanding solutions to health challenges, and the idea that health is a lifelong journey. Participants also come to grasp the idea that they control their own health, along with the understanding of how to live a healthy lifestyle. This curriculum was modeled on Colorado Health Standards but adapted for use in classrooms nationwide. It integrates the Colorado Health Standards in each step.

Additionally, it incorporates the 21st Century Learning Skills, which are a combination of critical thinking, invention, collaboration, self-direction, and information literacy. Although this curriculum provides a step-by-step process, lesson plans can be modified by instructors for individual classes, as needed. Instructors are also encouraged to bring their own expertise to the curriculum. It is important to note that this curriculum involves many discussion-based activities in which some students may be faced with uncomfortable topics provided by their research and their avatars (e.g., drug use and sexuality).

It is crucial that instructors provide a safe space for these discussions and establish norms around open and safe conversations. This curriculum was designed to increase students’ level of understanding about health issues and equip them with the ability to advocate for themselves and others through a number of activities, discussions, and blogging on the Avatars Anonymous website.

AA.6 was created in 2012 by a group of high school students known as the Community Health Action Team (CHAT) in response to the Colorado Department of Education’s request for CHAT’s leadership in building a curriculum that incorporated the Colorado Comprehensive Health and P.E. Standards. Below is a lesson plan key with brief description.

To access the AA.6 website, email Sam Wood at


Water: It’s in Your Nature

A School Without Hate

CAPS: Connecting, Asking, Participating, and Speaking Up