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ProCare Announces Youth Health Forum To Better Understand Rangatahi Health Issues

This weekend leading healthcare provider, ProCare, will be hosting ‘Pou Tautoko Rangatahi – a Youth Health Forum’, with the aim of better understanding some of the key health issues currently faced by young people across Auckland.

The name of the forum Pou Tautoko Rangatahi was gifted to us by tangata whenua and means “focused on solutions, working alongside, and leading with the vision embedded in the youth advisory values. Pou gives the steadfast strength and importance in any kaupapa or wero”.

This forum, sponsored by the University of Auckland, will bring rangatahi (youth) from across Tāmaki Makaurau who are passionate about making a difference to healthcare between the ages of 13 and 24 together to focus on two key health topics – mental health, and substance abuse/harm reduction from vaping, alcohol and other drugs.

There will be talks from industry experts, as well as significant input from young people themselves.

Bindi Norwell, Group Chief Executive at ProCare says: “Currently, there is feedback that young people’s voices are not being raised enough in strategic conversations around health, and we want to change that.

“Understanding the health issues that young people from a variety of backgrounds are facing, is critical to being able to better address them. By hearing from our rangatahi themselves, as well as industry experts, we can gather first-hand information about the reality of the challenges they are facing,” she continues.

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The ProCare Youth Advisory Group (YAG) is leading this forum, with co-chairs, Oggy Nweke and Ayush Sharma explaining, “This is a by youth, for youth approach to engaging with young people. We wanted to give our peers an opportunity to have their say, and we are so excited that ProCare and the University of Auckland is supporting us to do this.”

While the health challenges faced by all young people are of interest, there will be a particular focus on the experiences of Māori and Pacific, and LGBTQIA+ rangatahi, as well as new migrants and refugees.

Mihi Blair, Kaiwhakahaere Hauora Māori, Mana Taurite (GM of Māori Health and Equity), at ProCare says: “We know that the specific health challenges young people face is significantly influenced by their background, lived experiences and how they view the world.

“By inviting rangatahi that represent a range of demographics to our youth health forum, we can use this new understanding to implement changes to our way of working and delivering healthcare to cater to these needs,” Blair continues.

“We look forward to meeting our invited rangatahi and hearing their views and experiences, which we will be able to subsequently use to better address mental health and drug issues,” concludes Blair.

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