Listening to our rangatahi - youth

Ensuring the rangatahi (youth) voice is heard across our Canterbury health system is the goal of Chelsea Skinner, who is a new CCN leadership team member with a youth perspective. 

The youth perspective is a new role for the CCN Leadership Team, which has been put in place to ensure people and whānau from all parts of our community are at the centre of designing equitable health services. 

Chelsea is completing a doctorate at the University of Canterbury looking at self-management tools to improve the quality of life of those with endometriosis. She is also the Chairperson of the Canterbury District Health Board Youth Advisory Council where she advocates for young people aged between 12-24 years old in the Canterbury health system alongside other roles involved in education, mental health, and wellbeing.

When Chelsea heard there was an opportunity to sit on the CCN leadership team as a youth consumer, she jumped at the chance. 

“It is rare to be able to sit in a room with individuals that represent all areas of the Canterbury health sector, let alone leaders in these fields. I want to learn more about how our system runs overall and sit in a room with like-minded people that are willing to share their wealth of knowledge and experience,” says Chelsea. 

“I was stoked that CCN saw the importance of the youth voice being added into the mix, into a system where often the youth voice can be lost. My passion is to amplify the youth voice within the health sector.”

Chelsea hopes to give rangatahi the chance to share their experiences of the health system and make it more youth-friendly and inclusive. She thinks this is a great chance to work in a collaborative environment to achieve improvements for young people who need to use the system in a way that suits them.

“I am also looking forward to the challenge of how-to best problem solve and come up with innovative ideas for challenges we come up against in a way that best represents the needs of rangatahi in Canterbury.”

“Having experienced my own health journey over the past six years has made me really appreciate our health professionals for what they do and also shown me the gaps that we need to be addressing for our rangatahi.”

Mahlon Saumalu has also joined the Leadership Team with a youth perspective. You can read about Mahlon here.

Acting Executive Director for CCN Linda Wensley, says we are fortunate to have Mahlon and Chelsea join the team.

“They are already making a substantial contribution to the Leadership Team, bringing a diversity of ideas and fresh thinking to the discussions and decisions,” says Linda. 

“Both Mahlon and Chelsea have strong connections with a range of youth networks. These relationships and views from the wider youth community will strengthen the contribution they make to the important mahi of CCN.”

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