Youth Health Network

New Zealand has a poor record when it comes to young people’s health and well-being. Rates of youth suicide, death from motor vehicle injuries, unintended pregnancy and drug and alcohol use are among the highest in the western world.

The distribution of poor health is marked by significant socio-economic and ethnic differences. Inequities can be clearly seen across a range of measures.

The health outcomes of our youth are affected by wider contexts comprising families, schools and communities, where issues such as poverty, disengagement from school and availability of alcohol impact of the health and well-being of young people.

The future of the Northern Region as a vibrant and economically healthy area, depends on our young people being prepared to contribute to their families and communities in a rapidly changing and technology sophisticated world. This requires young people to be healthy, emotionally resilient and engaged in education and training with access to high quality health and social services.

The main objectives of the Youth Health Network are to:

  • Optimise health outcomes for young people, by reducing inequities
  • Advocate for improvements in the upstream determinants of youth health
  • Target our interventions at those who need them most especially Māori and Pacific Island youth
  • Improve the capability and capacity of our workforce, so that a young person receives quality care regardless of where they present
  • Pool health and other social agency resources are more effective
  • Achieve greater consistency and quality of care for young people

To achieve these aims we have:

Developed KPIs:

  • Engagement with health care (PHO enrolment rates)
  • Sexual health indicators (birth rates, termination rates)
  • Mental health indicators; in line with Prime Minister’s Youth Mental Health Project, (access rates, waiting times)
  • Further development is on-going

Developed Standards of Quality Care for Adolescents and Young People in Secondary or Tertiary Care

  • Including a quality improvement plan and self-assessment tool

Performed on-going review of school based services

Helen McKenzie | Programme Manager