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New youth health policy reflects increased priority on young people’s health in Western Australia

I am pleased to support the release of WA's first Youth Health Policy which has been driven and informed by my office’s consultation with young people in 2013, and demonstrates the WA health system’s commitment toward the health and wellbeing of our state’s children and young people.

In 2013, my office initiated a youth health project and consulted with more than 1,000 WA young people about health and health services, their experiences with services and opportunities for improvement.

This consultation led to the release of the Young People’s Experiences with Health Services report and the Position Statement on Youth Health which stressed the need to focus on young people in health policies and services.

Much work has been done since this consultation by the Department of Health and the Consumer and Community Health Research Network at Telethon Kids Institute, which has led to the development of the formal policy.

Key contributors to the policy are young people themselves. This is a great example of where children and young people can make a real difference to issues when they are involved.

Importantly, their involvement in decision making ensures that policies, programs and services are more relevant and more likely to meet their needs and improve their wellbeing.

I congratulate the Department of Health on this achievement as well as all the many other organisations who contributed to the WA Youth Health Policy 2018-2023.