Youth health services across Tairāwhiti

Growing up can be difficult especially the transition from child to adult. This stage of growing can for some result in a lack of self-confidence and sensitivity about your body. To address this, young people and health services within Tairawhiti are engaged in a design phase of what future health services should look like.

“Young people may be reserved about seeking information and advice in the adolescent years. For some time now youth in Tairāwhiti have asked for a health service that better suits their needs and Hauora Tairāwhiti is considering what this might look like,” says Hauora Tairāwhiti Planning and Funding Manager Nicola Ehau

“Rangatahi (young people) and others providing services to young people are looking at how we can deliver a service to them. It is difficult to plan a service without being clear about what is needed and any new service needs to be owned by those who will use it. The process of talking with youth and services continues to ensure that a youth voice is strong in service development” emphasises Ms Ehau.

Having a service that is accessible and convenient is important throughout the year, not just during school term time. That might mean different opening times, locations of clinics and the types of support services offered than what we have now. We also know that confidentiality is key,  this is important for young people to make the best use of the service without undue concern.

For the last 15 years, limited GP appointments have been available in three of the Gisborne secondary schools.  The school-based primary care service was established by a small general practice team who really wanted to make a difference. The teams have all been passionate about the desire to make a difference for young people attending these schools. We wish to see this passion continue and be extended to those not previously receiving this service which includes those living rurally, attending kura kaupapa, or not engaged with schools or outside term time.

 “While GPs in these schools have provided a great service it has become clear that continuing with this is no longer sustainable.”

Health services for young people continue to develop, the following services are available

  • Primary health care services are now free for all young people under 14 years of age, providing a range of other personal and mental health-related services as needed
  • School-based nursing services in secondary schools continue, this includes HPV Vaccinations, developmental (HEEADSSS) assessments to year 9 students
  • Oral Health services remain free until you are eighteen

The dedicated individuals who have provided the primary care service in schools have been a respected and valued part of our community and we wish to pass on our thanks and appreciation to everyone involved in this service over the years.

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