Introduction by Croakey: Three of the organisers of the upcoming Youth Health Forum 2021 National Summit last week took the reins at @WePublicHealth, raising many health issues being experienced by young people in Australia and expected to be on the table at the #YHFSummit on 15 September.
They include significant gaps in access to services and in research data (and the Census), workforce issues, confidentiality, vaccination access (and strengths-based messaging), issues for LGBTIQ+ and trans young people, culturally safe care, climate change and homelessness.
Journalist Marie McInerney and editor Jennifer Doggett will be covering the #YHFSummit for the Croakey Conference News Service. You can bookmark our coverage here and follow on Twitter, including via our #YHFSummit Twitter List.
See an edited selection of #YHFSummit @WePublicHealth tweets below, from Luke Catania, Emily Cole and Jasmine @all__that__jas.
A super exciting project that the YHF have been working on is the #YHFSummit. The summit will be running on the 15th of September. We’ve switched to an online format this year due to COVID (which is a win for easy accessibility!).
It will be a virtual summit for young people, health advocates and service providers, if you want to talk to young health consumers this is the place to do it! More info at http://www.yhfnationalsummit.com/ehome/index.php?eventid=629314&
The #YHFsummit will have some amazing guests for panels and discussions like @PatMcGorry @SandroDemaio @CaitFigueiredo @michelle_telfer. They will be talking to and hearing from young people all across the country. We will also have expert co-design and advocacy skills classes.
To start all that off we will have interactive networking and discussions on various youth health issues. This is a must attend for any organisations looking to connect with young people. Early bird registrations close 1/9/21 so get your tickets now.
If you’ve attended an online conference or summit previously what have the organisers done to make the online event feel engaging?
To start the ball rolling, the best online ones I (Luke) have attended focused on making sure it wasn’t just someone on the screen talking to themselves. Interactive sessions like what we have planned for the #YHFsummit will ensure that young people are at the center of the discussions!
Access to health care
Being a from a small town I faced a lot of barriers to healthcare. Access to specialists and medical equipment was lacking. I spent one year on heart medication for no reason as no cardiologists were available. I had to fly to Perth to access a Neurosurgeon and for routine MRIs.
According to our report produced with @WellbeingYouth, 46% of young people struggle to access health care due to costs. Mental Health (MH) accessibility has been a big focus for the YHF. We have put forth a recommendation to offer 10 fully funded gapless sessions for MH.
You can download a copy of our report “Life Transitions and Youth Pathways to Health Services” which includes our findings and a number of recommendations: https://chf.org.au/publications/life-transitions-and-youth-pathways-health-servicesNearly 60% of homeless people in Australia in 2016 were aged under 35 years (ABS). The @RedCrossAU‘s night cafe has been providing a safe space, hot meal, warm showers, clean clothes, hygiene products, access to doctors and support for homeless youth: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-07-29/brisbane-night-cafe-has-been-a-constant-for-homeless-youth/100314718
Workforce and confidentiality
Before kicking off, I’d like to Acknowledge the Wurundjeri People of the Kulin Nations whose Land I’ll be joining from. I am grateful to be working and studying on this precious Country and pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging.
Let’s talk wait times. It took me 3 months to get a psychologist and need to have 2 months booked ahead. Of course, as somone who works/studies over full-time, this means cancelled appointments and an inability to reschedule. I’m one of the lucky ones, and I’m not alone…
The workforce is NOT coping so I struggled to see how 10 extra sessions could help, when getting ONE is almost an impossibility: https://ab.co/3gziMMH And unfortunately, it can be a life/death situation for young people let down by the system:
At #YHFSummit we’ll be hearing from MH system figures inc @orygen_aus and @PatMcGorry to troubleshoot recommendations to ensure more young people don’t fall through the gaps – from bandaids to pie in the sky solutions, I can’t wait to hear what young people/providers have to say!
I’m about to start my shift @headspace_aus online peer support mod, and one of the things that gets mentioned ALL the time is young people not accessing help because they’re worried about their parents knowing – 22% of young people in the @WellbeingYouth report agree
One of the biggest steps I took in becoming an autonomous young consumer was getting my own #Medicare card as soon as I turned 15! My GP let me know and it was so empowering to be more independent + in control of my access to healthcare, particularly when moving from home at 17.
Here’s a quick link to a factsheet from headspace about why and how to get a Medicare card for young people: https://bit.ly/youngmedicare and a bit more info direct from Services Australia https://bit.ly/youngmedicare2
On a non-PH note, this means young people aren’t excluded from other #fullyvaxxed benefits, whether that be travelling home to WA or going to the cinema post-lockdown. I’m also hoping future jab promo is strengths rather than deficit-based https://www.sbs.com.au/news/the-feed/division-and-blame-how-these-young-people-feel-about-the-government-s-vaccine-ad
Sadly, Pfizer is tricky to snap up, meaning we still might have to wait weeks for the jab. If you’re keen to get #fullyvaxxed the AZ is still an option (I got it!!). Booking varies from state to state, so look up yours! Are you booked/vaxxed? Why did you roll-up?
A *big change* for youth this week is that 16-39 year olds can now get a Pfizer jab.Young people 20-39 have been disproportionately affected by recent outbreaks, being ~40% of cases. We don’t know if it’s because a) of the virus or b) inability to get vaccinated: https://theconversation.com/pfizer-vaccinations-for-16-to-39-year-olds-is-welcome-news-but-astrazeneca-remains-a-good-option-166486
We are ready and eager to advocate for systems which support our health as young people… but evidence drives change. This is where research and youth-involvement in codesigning it is CRUCIAL @WellbeingYouth @orygen_aus @telethonkids @MCRI_for_kids @fya_org
“LGBTIQ+ people aged 16-27 are 5 times more likely to have attempted suicide than the general population. Trans people aged 14-25 are a shocking 15 time more likely.” There are higher rates of drugs and alcohol, HIV & STIs and cancer. So why didn’t we ask the questions? https://www.sbs.com.au/news/it-s-2021-people-courtney-act-backs-call-for-lgbtiq-australians-to-be-counted-in-census
One of the #YHFSummit sessions is “What are the Policy Makers Missing?” One of those things are the facts. Research plays a PIVOTAL role in informing advocacy… but
It’s Wear it Purple Day. As I shared yesterday, young LGBTQIA+ youth experience higher rates of mental illness. At #YHFSummit we’ll keep the convo going about how healthcare can be safer for everyone. Today we celebrate LGBTQIA+ youth – our strength, identity and futures
As a young person, I’ve felt like a bargaining chip and scapegoat at times during the pandemic. Studying online is very difficult, but I wonder whether the alternative – exposing unvaccinated young people to a space of high-transmission is a better option?
Join the Summit discussions
Luke here to close off the week. I want to start off by thanking Emily and @all__that__jas for bringing their amazing perspectives on youth health issues. I would also like to thank the @CroakeyNews team for providing us this platform and working with us on the #YHFSummit.
If you found the issues and ideas raised by this week interesting, you should register for the #YHFSummit! Early Bird closes this wed (1/9) and it will focus on creating a planform for youth health issues to be discussed and solutions found! More info here.
If you want to continue the conversations about youth health issues such as climate change, access to services and culturally appropriate care, sign up to the #YHFSummit and come along to the open discussion tables. Over 100 Young health advocates have registered to attend!
There will also be workshops on authentically engaging with young people and advocating for youth issues with @kellyanagram and @Neilpharaoh! Discussions between young advocates and health leaders like @SandroDemaio and @PatMcGorry. Register at http://www.yhfnationalsummit.com/ehome/index.php?eventid=629314&
See Croakey’s archive of stories about young people and health.
Support our public interest journalism, for health.
Other ways to support.