In 2012-2013 Auckland District Health Board developed their “Integrated Child & Youth Mental health & Addiction Direction 2013-2023”. LookUp – the Youth Innovation Forum was created based on feedback received from young people during this process. Young people told us they were interested in wellbeing, looking at solutions and ways of being when things got tough in terms of their mental health and addiction issues. They showed us there were new and innovative ways of working with them that were more effective than traditional ways – these included the use of creativity, technology and service innovation.
Three streams were integral to the original LookUp event.
Creativity is the space where we showcase those that use creativity and arts to inspire and enrich our health and wellbeing. You get to try and experience these different ways of working and find out what really works for you!
Services need to engage young people in environments where we interact, like the internet and new digital media. We also need to explore the use of a variety of tools and networks – including mobile phones, social networking sites, and games and virtual worlds.
It is widely recognised that co-designing services with the very people who seek to use them improves them. A no brainer right? That is why “Strengthening the Voice” is an integral part of ADHB’s child and youth direction plan.
Look Up has been about inspiring young people to think about innovative ways to wellbeing by connecting young people and health professionals. Through a series of conversations, we want to encourage young people to celebrate building resilience in a way that is unique to them, know how to safely navigate their experiences and know where to go for help.
Our intention over the last four years has been threefold.
- To engage a diverse group of 100 or more young people in activities that would foster reflection of the relationships and support networks in their lives, and equip them with tools and resources, in a youth-development and strengths-focused manner – leading to positive health outcomes.
- To engage 50 or more professionals to learn alongside young people, be positively influenced by a youth-leadership approach, to gain a deeper understanding of what is important to young people around their thinking of relationships and to be exposed to new tools and resources – leading to an increase in youth participation in the sector and youth-friendly approaches.
- To capture young people’s experiences and common themes on the day – leading to systemic advocacy and services that better reflect their needs.