By Alyssa Frampton, Young Canadians Roundtable on Health
We often hear MPs talk - especially around election time - about the value of young people and their voice. However, often it seems impossible for youth to amplify their voice loud enough to be heard. This has been the scenario for Guelph youth Noah Irving, whose story appeared this week in Guelph Today. After sending over 338 letters calling for a national suicide prevention plan to all MPs, he received only about a 12 per cent response rate. There needs to be a better way for youth to be heard when it comes to issues around health especially. These are not siloed issues and what affects youth often affects everyone in some way.
The Young Canadians Roundtable on Health (YCRH) believes in the value of listening to youth and having them be active participants in wellness. We hope to see more MPs extend an ear when young people are trying to share their experiences and recommendations to move the health system, their health system forward. Through our Health Rights and Responsibilties Project launching on October 12, the YCRH will be calling on MPs to review the health rights of young people and consider the gaps in the system that are stopping them from accessing those rights. We hope that the health concerns of young people will not continue to go unheard and that together we can drive positive change for the future of youth health.