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Findings from a recent youth forum organised by Advance Diversity Services (ADS) will help shape health service provision in south-eastern Sydney to better meet the needs of newly arrived young people and youth from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds across the region.

More than 50 young people from local high schools, including Intensive English Centres (IECs), were consulted about their health and wellbeing during the June 7 forum at Rockdale Town Hall as part of the Get Active project funded by Multicultural Health, South Eastern Sydney Local Health District.

Forum participants, drawn from local schools such as Beverly Hills Girls High school and Kogarah Intensive Language Centre, provided insights which identified gaps in health service provision in the region. They also pinpointed the barriers they faced when attempting to access services, participate in sport, and get involved in other health-related and social activities.

Staff of St George Youth Services and headspace facilitated the forum discussion.

‘Bullying, stress, depression, peer pressure, intergenerational conflict and social isolation were some of the issues identified by forum participants as having a negative impact on their health and wellbeing,’ said ADS Executive Officer Antoinette Chow.

She also said these and other findings from the forum will be disseminated to relevant health service providers to help them to improve their outcomes and services, which will make a positive difference to the lives of young people in the region.

This was the first CALD youth health forum organised by ADS. It builds on ADS’s active partnership with local schools and IECs, and on its previous engagement with students.

The Get Active Project aims to improve outcomes relating to health, wellbeing and social connectivity via participation in sports activities and information sessions targeting both newly arrived young people and young people from CALD backgrounds.