Step 1: Take stock

The first step in the process is to pause and assess the current situation. Taking stock means gathering information about the protective factors, risk factors, and social determinants of health in your community. This information will help you decide on priorities and identify levers for change that are both feasible and effective.

Here are some tools to engage youth in taking stock. These youth-friendly tools are based on a participatory action research model, which is well suited to health promotion. Not only are they fun, they also provide practical and concrete strategies to harness young people’s own perceptions, experiences, and vision for change.

Each tool uses a different interactive activity to help youth share their point of view. Each looks at factors that affect young people’s health and well-being in your community. Use as many as you need.


Take stock activity 1: Personal Mapping: Use drawing and individual reflection to familiarize youth with the concept of resiliency and the factors that influence resilience. The activity includes questions about each factor in the Resilience map. Group discussion at the end of the activity begins the process of identifying both strengths and gaps in protective factors and in access to the social determinants of health.

Take stock activity 2: Building a Tower of Health: An experiential activity to help young people identify factors that would promote mental health and reduce tobacco use and substance misuse among youth in their community. The activity ranks these factors in order of priority and identifies the foundational factors.

Take stock activity 3: Photo Scavenger Hunt: Use photography to engage youth in documenting what they see as the factors in their community that promote and challenge young people’s health and well-being. Group discussion at the end of the activity helps to put all the identified factors into a collective inventory.

Additional tools to support you in Step 1: Take stock: tools