Youth Health Forum Incubator Grants: plans for action

2021

Young health advocates from the CHF Youth Health Forum have highlighted significant issues in healthcare, health literacy, and access to healthcare services for young people in the transitional years of early adulthood. 

CHF has been able to give a much-needed boost to this hidden issue by offering grants for health projects for young people, with funding assistance from the Australian Department of Health

We are excited to say that we had so many amazing applicants and we have been able to fund 14 of the projects in a competitive grant process.

Each of these selected programs improves youth access to health services, provides a health service to young people or improves health literacy in young people, many in unique and novel ways.

You can find a short description of each successful project below and if you have any questions about the grants or successful recipients, please email YHF@CHF.org.au

Ride the Wave: Surfing NSW will connect over 35 board rider clubs to a Surfing NSW surf-inspired Mental Health Organisation, the Good Human Factory. The aim is that together, they will use surfing to help young athletes gain the skills and knowledge that underpin good mental health, resilience and well-being. As part of the program, athletes will attend a workshop where junior influential club members will be selected to design and roll out eight practical and inspirational interactive “Ride the Wave” workshops to their communities. Each workshop is followed by a surfing experience session with 27-year-old NSW pro surfer Cooper Chapman.

Online Peer Support: Crohn’s and Colitis Australia will develop a set of recommendations for future interventions and initiatives for young adults living with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in Australia. It will run several focus groups to identify the pain points of transitional care for young people. These focus groups will also facilitate the development of an online peer support group and continuously updated resources for young people with IBD. It will also be used as an informal IBD-specific youth reference group, of potential interest to up to 40,000 young Australians.

Walking the Talk: The Australian Association for the Wellbeing of Children in Healthcare and Health Consumers NSW plans “Walking the Talk” to support and empower young people to engage in health advocacy and the creation of a NSW Youth Health engagement and advocacy network. It will inject the youth voice into the work that both sponsor organisations do as well as support up to 30 young consumers to receive training and support.

Online Youth Portal: Central Connect Tasmania and Health Consumers Tasmania plan to implement an online youth portal to their existing connecting care portal. This online resource will link young Tasmanians in the Central Coast to health resources in their area, an under-resourced area with high levels of preventable disease. It will build on the pre-existing community networks and is a collaboration between multiple organisations to avoid product duplication. Fifty young people will actively participate in the project, designing resources and acting as a reference group.

Healthy Families: In Queensland, the organisation, Campbell Page, plans to support a minimum of 20 young mothers to access psychological services. The six-month program will focus on development of children and young mothers. The initiative will provide 20+ young mothers who would otherwise not have the means to access mental health services.

Growing Healthy Students from CALD: This educational project will promote mental health and welling practices with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse young people from across NSW, mostly Sydney. It will provide selfcare and mental wellness support and training as well as build support networks within these communities. This will make a huge impact as young people in CALD communities are often the health translators for family and friends. Fifty young people will participate directly in the project. It will work with local groups and communities to create simple English and translated resources.

Stop Vaping: This Lung Foundation Australia project will increase the awareness of health issues related to vaping in young people, directly aimed at trying to stop young people from taking up vaping. It will build on the Vaping and Young People round table with the intention of setting up a formal steering group to provide advice and review the materials created. This project is targeting flavoured e-cigs, a big issue for young people.

Teen Talk: Musculoskeletal Australia (MSK) will run “Teen Talk”, an online support community aimed towards teenagers and young people with arthritis or other musculoskeletal issues. It makes novel use of Discord, a free online chat platform — think Zoom and a chat room combined into one. It will be administered by three young ambassadors and overseen by MSK’s community program coordinator. “Teen Talk” will provide a community space for young people with these health issues to develop a support network.

Youth Forums: This project will establish youth forums that will develop into youth working groups. This application came from a young person who wanted to work with North Burnett Community Services in Queensland to improve access to services for young people. It will aim to increase health literacy and address cultural barriers to accessing health. It should create long term benefits for young people in the North Burnett areas.

One Vision: Plans to provide a workshop for 30 indigenous young people in collaboration with the Tweed-based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community organisation, Kids Caring for Country. The workshop will aim to discuss suicide prevention in young people and will culminate in a collaboratively written hip-hop song and music video to highlight these issues and create a dialogue on mental health in a community with a disproportionally high suicide rate in a way that is approachable and peer-led.

Outloud: This project will support queer and questioning Muslim young people, providing them with mental health services and resources. It will provide free anonymous counselling with a qualified Muslim counsellor for participating community of peers, and host events to combat stigma. Young queer Muslims can face significant issues, particularly from within their wider religious and family communities.  The program will provide a safe space for these young people to access services without fear of being “outed”. It plans to increase from six to more than 20 the young people being supported, as well as provide funding for a second counsellor.

Women With Disability Empowerment: Working in co-design with the Women With Disability Australia (WWDA) Youth Advisory Group and Youth Network, this project will develop and distribute resources that build the knowledge of young women, girls and feminine identifying and non-binary young people with disability about their sexual and reproductive health and rights in relation to menstruation and contraception and empower them to make their own, informed decisions about their bodies.

Wollondilly Wellbeing: This project will work with young people aged 18-30 to deliver a range of wellbeing initiatives that address key components including mental health, physical health, nutrition, healthy relationships, risk-taking behaviour and first aid. The Wollondilly Shire Council’s Youth Advisory Committee has engaged with young people, many affected by devastating local bushfires, floods and COVID-19, particularly those in remote and isolated places. Young people identified the need to be upskilled to independently address their health and wellbeing needs. The Wollondilly Wellbeing project is aimed to provide to support young people to develop the skills and strategies they need with health workshops and clinician guidance.

Empowering youth for mental health recovery: This project will develop and evaluate a digital youth recovery college at the University of Southern Queensland. Recovery Colleges adopt an educational paradigm enabling those who attend courses to develop skills which aid recovery and self-management.  The emphasis is on co-production, co-facilitation and co-learning, with a view to promote shared understandings, and challenging notions of stigma and social exclusion. The approach also mitigates the development of serious mental health concerns among vulnerable youth. For young people and families awaiting services, or already engaged in health services, the online Recovery College will bolster treatment outcomes. For health services, the Recovery Colleges will build the capacity of health professionals to partner with consumers and community agencies. The online youth recovery college will be the first of its kind in Australia, with an estimated 1000 to 3000 recovery college students to be part of the study over five years.