Members of the Youth Advisory Council and Tāmaki Health/Total Healthcare PHO board. From left: Prag Pasad, Florida Mataio, Willie Ropata, Samiya Patel, Rakesh Patel, Tejas Samant, Ranjna Patel.
Total Healthcare PHO and Tāmaki Health have recently established a joint Youth Advisory Council to help us improve the services we deliver to young people.
By giving rangatahi a voice within our organisations, we can identify the healthcare issues that are important to young people, find out what aspects of the current system are or are not working for them, and improve the ways in which we deliver youth services to drive better health outcomes.
The council is still in the early stages, but two productive meetings have been held so far with a range of year 12 and 13 students from different ethnicities, schools and suburbs in attendance. Members of Total Healthcare and Tāmaki Health staff and board are taking part in council meetings, including Lorenzo Kaisara, Willie Ropata, and Rakesh and Ranjna Patel. The intention is to eventually have a fully student-led council with staff taking a back seat.
So far, mental health, bullying, women’s issues and difficulties talking to parents about health these issues have been identified as key concerns for the young people. We look forward to listening and learning more from these rangatahi in the coming months and working together to come up with new ways to get their needs met.