The 2020 Youth Health Forum (YHF) was created to make young people’s ideas and experiences part of our national discussions about services for young Australians.
Healthcare professionals across Australia have long recognised the problem of young people falling through the gaps of a health system that wasn’t designed for them.
In March 2021, The Youth Health Forum Report, “Life Transitions and Youth Pathways to Health Services” was produced, based on the discussions, insights and ideas of YHF delegates.
“A total of 1,416 young people completed surveys and 35 young people participated in in-depth interviews over 12-months.
A spokesperson for the Youth Health Forum, Roxxanne MacDonald, said the report showed there was a unique opportunity to establish health for life by equipping young people with the tools they needed to get help when they need it, and by supporting young people to speak up about how they can live their healthiest possible lives.
‘’While most participants rated their health as being ‘good’ or ‘excellent, almost half reported high or very high psychological distress. The young people in the studies identified multiple barriers to accessing health services, with cost being at the top of the list.”, Ms Donald said.
The CEO of the Consumers Health Forum, Leanne Wells, said youth health was different from health at other ages.
“In youth, there is a unique opportunity to establish health for life by equipping young people with the tools they need to get help when they need it and support them in living health lives. To realise this opportunity, to turn it into reality, requires a shift in thinking away from negative stereotypes about young people and a commitment to move beyond ‘business as usual’.
“We need to reinvent young people’s healthcare, remove the stigma and inequity that prevents them from getting the support they need, and instead champion their strengths and their insights.”
The report was produced by the Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF) and the Wellbeing Health & Youth (WH&Y), National Health and Medical Research Council – NHMRC and supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Health.
The media release and full report can be viewed here https://chf.org.au/media-releases/helping-young-people-get-best-health