SYHPANZ actively promotes Youth Engagement and Leadership opportunities to support ‘Services are designed with young people for young people‘. Who knows better than young people themselves what their needs are, and how to inform wellbeing outcomes.

SYHPANZ is currently supporting two Youth Advisory Groups for:

  • Te Whatu Ora for School Based Health Services (SBHS) Enhancement Programme – Māngai Whakatipu (click to read more)
    • Youth as partners identified early as necessary for success, and are critical partners in this process of SBHS enhancement.
  • Te Aka Whai Ora – Rangatahi Maori Advisory Rōpū
    • Foundation of sustainable partnership with rangatahi as equal partners for design and development, delivery, and informing how to measure from a rangatahi service user perspective

There is significant evidence that demonstrates that the current Adolescents/Youth population are the largest generation group in history. We have international and national evidence that shows the needs of adolescents/youth continue to be unmet, particularly when most needs are preventable or amenable to early intervention which would significantly minimise emergent needs into adulthood.

Youth Health Workforce Development Consultation and Review

The health and wellbeing of New Zealand youth remains of concern despite some recent improvements (Adolescent Health Research Group, 2008).  Attempts to promote healthier outcomes for current and future generations of youth include the provision of health services explicit in the understanding that to be effective health providers and health services require a youth-specific approach, knowledge and skills. It has become evident that there exist many gaps in what young people need and what many providers often deliver.  It is the business of this workforce development framework to address these gaps in workforce capacity and capability.

(Te Remu Tohu A Framework of Youth Health Workforce Development 2009)

Global Trends for Adolescence

We have come to new understandings of adolescence as a critical phase in life for achieving human potential. Adolescence is characterised by dynamic brain development in which the interaction with the social environment shapes the capabilities an individual takes forward into adult life. During adolescence, an individual acquires the physical, cognitive, emotional, social, and economic resources that are the foundation for later life health and wellbeing. These same resources defy new trajectories into the next generation. Investments in adolescent health and wellbeing bring benefi ts today, for decades to come, and for the next generation.

“Developing and implementing standards for quality youth health and development services is a way to minimize variability and ensure a minimal required level of quality to protect adolescents’ rights in health care”.

(Our Future: a Lancet Commission on Adolescent health and wellbeing 2016)

Adolescent Health Research Aotearoa NZ

There are a range of guidelines and frameworks across New Zealand that support youth health services, however in 2012, 18% of secondary school students reported not being able to access healthcare when they needed to. The most common barriers to accessing health care included not wanting to make a fuss (46%), hoping it would go away or get better by itself (51%), embarrassment (29%), no transport (28%), fear (27%), and cost (26%).  Nearly 1 in 5 students were afraid their condition would not be kept secret. This evidence shows that current health services and the current workforce may not be meeting the needs of young people or providing youth appropriate care. Improved nationwide workforce development may help to address these barriers for young people.

(Youth 2000 Survey Series)

Health Statistics NZ

Implications for health services:  

  • New morbidities will drive future health service need (eg non-communicable disease – nutrition, behaviour, mental health, co-morbidities)
  • Prevalence of new morbidities is high – determining where service provision can be more pro-active for Youth access and utilisation e.g. primary care or specialist or secondary care or interdisciplinary to the needs
  • Young peoples’ worlds are on-line and self-directed – information is everywhere
  • The above implications can affect a young person’s ability to function well in society and can impact on their future.

Continue to check back on this page for future updates on Youth Engagement and Leadership.

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