7.2 Administration and governance
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While there are no specific policies targeting only the dimension of youths, and their health and well-being, this age group of the population feature very significantly in all the various policies and strategies developed for the improvement of the health and well-being of the population. The Ministry for Health has three main actors involved in policy-making. These are the Department for Health Policy which is responsible for overall policies; the Department of Health Regulation is responsible for the formulation of policies in the field of Public Health as well as its regulatory function to ensure standards; and the Department of Health Care Services who are responsible for the provision - organisation and delivery of the public system of health care services.
Other Ministries that are also responsible and are involved in a variety of aspects that affect the health and well-being of young people include the Ministry for Education and Sport and the Ministry for the Family, Children’s rights and Social Solidarity, who are responsible for social, family and child policy.
The Foundation for Social Welfare Services has responsibility in the fields of social services, who provide social welfare services, in particular in relation to alcohol and substance abuse and in relation to other social welfare problems prevalent in the country, especially those related to family welfare; Aġenzija Sedqa, whose remit covers the provision of care, prevention and research services with regard to drugs and alcohol abuse, compulsive gambling and other dependencies, together with Aġenzija Appoġġ and Aġenzija Sapport, forms part of this Foundation for Social Welfare Services. Aġenzija Appoġġ is the National Agency for children, families, and the community, which safeguards and promotes the well-being of these persons through the development and provision of psycho-social welfare services.
Also, Aġenzija Żgħażagħ is responsible for coordinating the implementation of the National Youth Policy Towards 2030 – Reaching out to, working with, and supporting young people and promoting and safeguarding the interests of young people. Within the National Youth Policy, one of the eight strategic goals focuses on supporting young people’s transition to adulthood, through developing and providing life skills programmes for young people particularly those with fewer opportunities, including young people with disabilities, young migrants and refugees, young people in detention centres, young people in care, young people with mental health issues, and young people not in employment, education or training. Another strategic goal focuses on providing proactive and responsive regional, local, and school-based supports and services that enable young people to learn, work in and contribute to their communities through initiatives that promote the wellbeing and mental, emotional, physical, and sexual health of young people.
Other social partners that play an active role include a variety of foundations, groups, NGOs that are listed with the Office of the Commissioner for Voluntary Organisations, and committees such as the Advisory Council on Health Lifestyles, Advisory Committee on Immunization Policy and others.
The Richmond Foundation is a leading local NGO in the provision of community services for persons with mental health difficulties and in the promotion of mental health and the prevention of mental illness amongst the public. It strives to combat stigma and increase awareness on the subject through the local media.
The President’s Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society aims to produce relevant, appropriate and timely research by seeking innovative methodologies to engage with society for the promotion of peace and unity.
There are no existing formal mechanisms of cross-sectorial cooperation. However as already indicated the Ministry for Health and Ministry for Education and the Ministry for Inclusion, Wellbeing and Voluntary Organisations and Ministry for the Family, Children’s rights and Social Solidarity work in close cooperation.
Moreover, the National Youth Policy: Towards 2030 has cross-sector collaboration as one of its strategic goals and among other possible collaboration, it focuses on the Commissioner for Mental Health, the Commissioner for the rights of persons with disability as well as the Commissioner for Children’s rights.