What is the Youth Consumer Voice?
The youth consumer voice is about increasing youth consumer participation in mental health and alcohol and drug services around New Zealand.
Youth = What youth is changes with time and place, but a good range is 0-24. If you live by the smart phone, don't have a house and still don't know what you want to do when you grow up, you are probably a youth.
Consumer = Someone that has been through (or is in) the mental health system. Also known as Tangata Whaiora, Service Users, Clients and many more names.
Participation = Having an active, meaningful voice. Having the drive and ability to change how things work.
There are a few ways to increase youth consumer participation around New Zealand. One of the best ways is through a youth consumer advisor.
A Youth Consumer Advisor is someone young who has been through the mental health system. It is their job to participate in a mental health/ alcohol and drug service and improve it.
Active youth consumer participation in services leads to improved outcomes for infants, children and adolescents who access mental health and addiction services.
A Youth Consumer Advisor:
- Gets feedback from other young people; this might mean attending the same groups, adding comment boxes, social media or anything else.
- Giving feedback on projects the service works on
- Making resources (brochures, letters, etc) more youth friendly.
- Attend events, trainings and conferences then bring that knowledge back to the team
- Participate in decision making such as staff recruitment.
- A big part of the role is driven by your passion. You find something that could be better and you improve it.
How we help:
- Encourage and support the workforce in increasing the Youth Consumer Workforce.
- Support a network of youth consumer advisors and youth advisory groups around the country with info, resources and events.
- Help improve Māori and Pacific youth consumer participation in services.
- Include youth consumer participation in all our work.
We have also created these resources:
Active Youth Participation and Advice (A toolkit for developing, recruiting and supporting youth consumer advice in your service)
Not Just Another Participation Model (Guidelines for enabling effective youth consumer participation in CAMH and AOD services in New Zealand, 2nd edition 2009)
Participation across NZ