Youthealth Project

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By April 17, 2015 No Comments

Authors: Northern Sydney Area Health Service

Year: 2001

Event: 2001 TheMHS Awards


Type of resource: TheMHS Awards

Award state: NSW

Award level: Silver

Award category: Mental Health Promotion or Mental Illness Prevention Program or Project

Abstract: The “Youthealth” (YH) project is an innovative partnership between health service providers and young people in Northern Sydney Health (NSH). The major focus is to address access to health services and their ability to reach, attract, engage and retain young people in need or at risk. Mental Health was one of the major areas identified as not presenting services effectively to young people. It rated number one on the list of “no go areas” for youth. YH aims to increase the capacity of services to provide appropriate youth friendly services for young people aged 14-19 years and to increase young people’s awareness of these holistic health services. It also aims to encourage meaningful dialogue and consultation between paid youth consultants and service providers, planners and policy makers. The project has four major initiatives: • Development of guidelines on what makes services youth friendly • Employment of youth consultants within the health system to consult with services • Informal peer education and a Youth access workshop in schools and youth centres • Development of a youth internet site to provide easy access to confidential health information and resources There is health professional coordinator of the project and a youth worker who assists the coordinator. Trainers are engaged for inservice and specific skill education as needed. Description of Facility/Organisation: The organisation is Northern Sydney Health Service (NSH). This service is responsible for the funding, organisation and delivery of public health services. The Project Management Committee is a consortium, made up of representatives from a number of key stakeholders in the area of youth and mental health. The Youthealth Project is a mental health promotion project and based within Northern Sydney Health Promotion – Lower North Shore Unit. Northern Sydney Area includes 11 local government areas located north of Sydney Harbour from the Harbour to the Hawkesbury. NSH has a youth population aged 12-18 years of approx. 56,000. In addition there are approx. 12,000 young people coming into the area each day to attend school and colleges in the NS area. Mental health services across NS currently see less than 2% of adolescents with serious emotional difficulties. National surveys of young people report rates of serious emotional difficulties ranging from 15-20%. The services targeted include drug and alcohol, sexual health, child and family units, child and adolescent mental health services, emergency departments, paediatric units, sports health clinics, GPs, adult psychiatric services, school counsellors, education, youth centres and youth interagencies. Funding for the Youthealth Project consisted of $100,000 per annum for two years (1998-2000). The evaluation (first 12 months) was conducted by two researchers from the Social Policy Research Centre

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