Unlocking the Health and Well-Being of Young Australians

Recruiting children and young people for research can be a challenge, and for this study, these challenges were mainly related to stringent selection criteria. An analysis of 26 Australian health policies for children and young people, as well as selected educational welfare policies, was conducted. Headspace is Australia's pioneering mental health initiative for young people, and it is the largest national network of improved primary care youth mental health centers in the world. To date, there has been limited systematic analysis of Australian child and youth health policies and certain educational welfare policies, focusing on the social determinants of health and health equity.

This study seeks to contribute to addressing this gap. The voices of children and young people are increasingly being taken into account during policy development, the link between health and education policies is being strengthened, and there is an opportunity to address the issue of housing with a specific focus on young people. Through the participation of young people and families, as well as the participation of the community, the center can identify the needs of local youth and customize the environment and orientation of the center accordingly. It is not enough to direct young people to telephone numbers of helplines; they must be explicitly taught about available sources of help and the steps to obtain it.

Currently, there is a window of opportunity that supports the exploration of housing strategies within Australia's child and youth health policy environment. These efforts should continue in order to result in better health outcomes for all. The aim of this study was to understand the extent to which current Australian child and youth health policies and selected educational welfare policies address equity and propose measures in relation to social determinants of health (SDH). Particular attention should be paid to the health of young people, both through specific health policies for young people and through broader health policies.

Some are specific to young people and are broad in scope; others focus on an aspect of the well-being of children and young people (such as child safety). Key national indicators of the well-being of young Australians (indicators of the National Information Framework for Youth) are presented in order to provide a national overview of how they are doing at any given time, so that progress can be monitored. This study demonstrates the lack of policy measures on social determinants of health in Australian child and youth health policy and in certain educational welfare policies.