The Youth Health Program
The school-based Youth health Nurse Program is an initiative of the Queensland Government. Within this program nurses are employed to work in state high schools with the aim of assisting young people in making a safe and healthy transition to adulthood. Schools are recognised as key settings for promoting the health of young people during a critical period when knowledge, attitudes and behaviours important for life-long health are being learned.
The Youth Health Nurse works to promote awareness within young people of their own health needs and supports the development of healthy lifestyle behaviours and choices. This is done through a combination of individual health consultations, health education and health promotion activities.
Areas of operation
I work as a member of the school’s support team and have an independent role as well as a collaborative role within the school setting.
My role at Ferny Grove State High School includes health consultations for students, parents, carers and school staff. I am available for individual health consultations for young people, parents, carers and staff. These consultations are to provide support with health-related issues, health information, advice and referral to appropriate community support and health agencies when indicated. Confidentiality of information discussed during consultations will be treated with respect and sensitivity at all times and young people will be encouraged to discuss their health concerns with their parents and or carers. The only exception to breaking confidentiality is when there is a disclosure of risk of harm to the young person or others. Reasons for accessing this service may include:
drug and alcohol issues- including smoking
stress, depression and other mental health issues and other mental health concerns.
Health Education/ Health Promotion Activities/ Classroom Education
Upon invitation by the school the Youth Health Nurse will present classroom education. One of the main topics is sexual decision making and sexual health. Young people today are confronted with mixed sexual messages from sources such as the media and friends. This may result in confusion and difficulty in coming to terms with their sexuality. My intention is to support parents in their endeavour to provide their teenager with accurate information and to debunk the many myths around.
Other topics in classroom education I cover include puberty, personal hygiene, coping with stress and the early detection of cancer.
Health promotion displays in the library and newsletter snippets are other avenues for raising relevant health issues for young people.
I also act as a resource person. This includes: