Hunter Primary Care has been successful in the first round of grants awarded through the Department of Health, Indigenous Australians Health Programme Emerging Priorities grant.
Recently announced by the Morrison Government, the round one grants will equate to a national investment investment of almost $35 million towards the intervention and prevention of a disease or chronic health conditions.
Supporting Closing the Gap initiatives, their project titled, Power and Control for Aboriginal Youth, will develop and deliver a health/awareness campaign on social media, which is created by young Aboriginal people for young Aboriginal people.
Hunter Primary Care CEO, Brenda Ryan, said the aim of the initiative is to close the gap between non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal health.
“Throughout the campaign, we will aim to establish power and control for Aboriginal youth to guide their communities towards Closing the Gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous health inequities,” she said.
“We will be working across communities in the Hunter New England Central Coast Primary Health Network (HNECCPHN) to ensure that various communities are represented and consulted.”
By employing an Identified Aboriginal Project Facilitator, and recruiting Aboriginal youth advisory groups across the HNECCPHN, Hunter Primary Care will co-design a social media campaign targeting youth groups, aged 5-24, to present for regular annual 715 health checks.
The Indigenous Australians’ Health Program (IAHP) identified that the 715-health check is important in early detection/treatment of disease.
The IAHP also reports that progress towards the 2023 goals for Indigenous heath checks across all demographics is not on track.
Outcomes of the campaign will aim to increase the numbers of Aboriginal children/youth groups presenting for annual 715 health checks, children from 18 per cent to 46 per cent and youth from 17 per cent to 42 per cent, by 2023.
Brenda said the co-design nature of the project presents an opportunity for young Aboriginal community members to collaborate, and create a robust promotional campaign, directed at youth culture, and focused on early intervention of chronic disease.
“As an organisation, we feel that a co-design process is important to the success of the project,”
“Developing a campaign that is created by young Aboriginal people, for young Aboriginal people will allow us to produce content that resonates with communities and ultimately improve the campaign’s success.”
The organisation’s strategy to create an Aboriginal youth-led health awareness campaign, aligns directly with recent research into social media usage in Indigenous communities.
Recent research indicates that age is directly associated with social media use for health, with younger groups being reportedly more receptive to using social media, particularly in relation to their health and wellbeing.
Further research also suggests that Australian Aboriginal communities are embracing social media for sharing health messages in a two-way exchange.
IMAGE | Close the Gap initiative to help local Aboriginal youth with their health and wellbeing.