Our Youth Consumer Advisor, James Boyd, recently coordinated the 2017 Youth Consumer Forum. This two day event provides an arena for YCAs to share learnings from across New Zealand and cultivate areas of focus for the coming year.
Ministry of Health officials, including CAMHS Principle Advisor, Kevin Harper, attended. As well as Te Pou and Le Va progressing the consultation of the ‘Let’s Get Real’ competency framework refresh.
“YCAs greatly welcome the Ministry’s attendance” James stated. “It’s extremely useful to hear project updates and YCAs welcome the invitation to support greater representation of youth voices.”
“We were also pleased to be included in the ‘Let’s Get Real’ refresh” he added. “YCAs are often deeply connected to the challenges of stigma youth can face when seeking mental health support. We were proud to share our knowledge to aid the consultation.”
Other discussions reviewed support for incoming YCAs. The forum’s review of the National Youth Consumer Advisor Network (NYCAN) explored how learnings and resources could be provided. A digital database coordinated by James will be upcoming as a response to this aim.
Finally, Marley Richards of the ‘A Point of Difference Project’ and Maggie Shippam of ‘InsideOut’ provided talks regarding support for youth mental health within communities and in approaching services.
These discussions have informed aims how YCAs will be orientating their work in 2018. Helping youth and communities to respond to stigma and creating structures to assist current and incoming YCAs with a valuable knowledge base will be primary aims.