7.7 Making health facilities more youth friendly
Youth in View
To achieve good youth health care (JGZ), the Dutch Centre Youth Health Care (Nederlands Centrum Jeugdgezondheid, NCJ), collects data on JGZ in the Netherlands. Youth nurses, for example working at a GGD, child consultation clinic or hospital, monitor their information about the youth they see. The monitor Youth in View (Jeugd in Beeld) collects all this data and presents it to the JGZ, municipalities and researchers with the aim to improve youth health care and to display trends in the health and well-being of youth. The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) asked NCJ to develop such an instrument. The system was developed in 2011 and has no specific timeframe. No specific target groups within the youth population are adressed. The Ministry of VWS is responsible for funding. Information about monitoring and evaluation is unknown.
Project Hoofdzaken (Affairs of the head)
Hoofdzaken is a project of the National Youth Council (NJR) that brings together young people who have experienced mental health issues. These young people all received treatment within youth mental health care (youth-GGZ). They discuss how young people with mental health issues can fully participate in society. They have, from their own experience, listed the major bottlenecks within the youth GGZ and suggested solutions. Examples of these bottlenecks and solutions are:
- Combating stigmatisation and taboos by providing information and online platforms;
- Solutions made to measure and collaboration to create opportunities in education when young people get stranded in schools because of mental health problems.
At both national and international conferences and meetings they discuss these bottlenecks and share their experiences. In this way (care) professionals and policy makers get a better understanding of the experiences of a young person receiving or having received youth GGZ treatment. At the same time they begin to understand how the relation between youngsters and care could be improved. Young people need to be involved to address bottlenecks and to make structural improvements in youth GGZ.
The NJR will continue and further develop this project in 2017 and 2018. Every year, a group of young experts by experience is trained by NJR trainers. Information about public funding and mechanisms for monitoring and evaluation are unknown.
In order to improve the access to youth health facilities for young people, there are specific patients associations for young people. Well-known diseases like cancer have specific young patients associations. An example is the Foundation Youth and Cancer that has a website on which young people can share information and seek contact with other young people that experience the same disease or have relatives/close friends that are ill. The website also provides information for young patients on various themes, for example school and study.
The Anxiety, Compulsion and Phobia Foundation also has a specific website for young people where they can share their stories and experiences, get in contact with others and find information about various disorders. Information is also provided about seeking (professional) help and support.
In cooperation with the Rheumatism foundation, the independent foundation Youth-R-Well.com has been set up. This online platform provides information and experiences from young people between16 and 30 that suffer from rheumatism. They also organise events for young rheumatism patients.
The patients associations for well-known diseases described above are examples of specific patients associations for youth, but there may be more. These associations provide examples of how to make health facilities more friendly for young people. The timeframe and outcomes of these initiatives are unknown. The associations are aimed at youth with a specific disease or sometimes youth having relatives suffering a disease. Information about public funding is unknown. Information about monitoring and evaluation is also unknown.
The aim of ExPex is to improve youth (health) care from the perspective of young people themselves. This is done by employing and training experts by experience. These experts by experience are young people that received youth (health) care/support themselves. ExPex facilitates and stimulates them to be trained as experts by experience, so they can contribute to youth (health) care, by setting up projects, giving advice and sharing their expertise. ExPex was initiated because young people in youth (health) care often asked for someone who had had the same experience and could serve as a role model. The first group of ExPex was trained in 2014. The ExPex youth are mostly employed as buddies to other young people and/or consultants of institutions and government organizations. Information about public funding and mechanisms for monitoring and evaluation is unknown.