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What is a Youth Health Council?

What is a Youth Health Council?

Youth Health Council (YHCS) are groups of young people who are passionate about youth health. They work together to identify, discuss and take action on health needs affecting young people.

Youth Health Councils address a wide range of issues; mental wellbeing, bullying, fitness and exercise, healthy eating and nutrition, peer pressure, stress, relationships, service gaps, youth rights and much more.

Together they increase the health status of young people by:

  • Identifying and discussing key youth health needs
  • Creating resources
  • Ensuring that health information, services and programs are relevant, responsive and are accessible to young people
  • Promoting healthy lifestyles

Youthline Auckland supports almost 30 Youth Health Councils across the Auckland region, encompassing a range of schools and young people. We also have developed a bunch of resources that you can use in your school to set up your own Youth Health Council (available at the link below), anywhere in the country!

The Councils all run differently, and are supported in different ways by Key Supporters in their school.

Many of these people are school nurses, but there are also teachers, counsellors, guidance, and senior leaders who support these groups of students.

YHCs are great to get involved with if you are thinking of a career in health promotion or other health careers (doctors, nurses, youth workers, social workers etc).

What is my role as a member of a Youth Health Council?

  • Advocating on behalf of young people
  • Motivating and empowering young people to become involved in the issues that affect them
  • Ensuring that the health and wellbeing needs of youth are met to maximise health outcomes
  • Building awareness, understanding and enthusiasm for youth issues
  • Creating positive social change
  • Taking responsibility for the wellbeing of others in your community

What do I get out of joining a Youth Health Council?

  • Hands on training in development, leadership and health promotion
  • Experiencing work in health and wellbeing that is related to a variety of health careers
  • Friendship and positive relationships
  • Becoming more connected with your school
  • Doing something worthwhile that benefits young people and your community

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