Mental health

January 23, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Science, Health Science, Immunology
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4. Health issues for Australia’s youth

Youth health issues in Australia • Many factors influence the health and individual human development of youth • Generally, the health of Australia’s youth is good and continues to improve • As a class, brainstorm the term “health issues” – can you agree on a meaning of the term?

Some youth health issues • • • • • • •

Mental health Asthma Diabetes Injury Weight Tobacco smoking Alcohol use

• Illicit substance use • Sun damage • Sexual and reproductive health • Food allergies • Homelessness • Cyber-safety

Youth health issues • Can you think of any other youth health issues that impact on young Australians?

Mental health • Mental health (according to WHO): “a state of wellbeing in which the individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to the community”

Mental illness • Mental illness (according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare): “a general term that refers to a group of disorders that affect the way a person thinks, feels and acts”

Communicable diseases • Also known as infectious diseases • Caused by specific infectious agents – bacteria and viruses • Can be passed on by humans, animals, the environment, food or parasites • Brainstorm some examples of communicable diseases that affect Australia’s youth

Chronic diseases • A disease that is long lasting and persistent • Chronic diseases can be communicable or non-communicable • Impact on young people can be profound: growth, development, mental health, body image and self-esteem • Brainstorm some examples of chronic diseases that affect Australia’s youth

Asthma • Asthma is a common chronic disease facing young people • Asthma can be effectively managed with the use of medication to prevent or relieve attacks • Asthma can affect quality of life and is a major casue of school absenteeism, child emergency department attendance and hospital admissions • Asthma can restrict the social, physical and emotional lives of those with the condition

Diabetes • Diabetes is a chronic illness that has no known cure but can be well managed • Type 1 diabetes – the body is unable to make its own insulin. Can affect people of any age, but is more often diagnosed before the age of 30 • Type 2 diabetes – the body has reduced levels of insulin or insulin resistance.

Injury • A key health issue facing youth • The leading cause of death and the third leading cause of hospitalisations among 15-24 year olds • Most injuries are accidental • Injuries are usually preventable if the right safety precautions are taken

Weight • Weight issues include being underweight, overweight or obese • Weight issues in youth can affect self-esteem and increases the risk of chronic disease

Drug use: Tobacco, alcohol and illicit substances • Youth is a stage of the lifespan where experimentation with drugs often occurs – sometimes causing lifelong health problems • Risk factors include: family problems, other drug users in peer group, behavioural and emotional issues, low self-esteem • Why is experimentation with drugs more common during the youth stage of life?

Sun damage • UV radiation from the sun causes sun damage • Long term exposure can lead to skin cancer • Even mild sun burn or tanning can increase risks of melanoma later in life • Sun damage is an issue for all Australians but much of the risk of melanoma comes from excessive exposure early in life

Sexual and reproductive health • As young adults, people tend to become sexually active and can be at risk of STIs or pregnancy • Access to healthcare and education are critical to help avoid unsafe behaviour

Food allergies • A true food allergy occurs when the body’s immune system is provoked to produce antibodies to specific proteins in food • Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction • A food intolerance is a chemical reaction experienced when eating or drinking some foods and results in a more minor reaction

Homelessness • Homelessness among young people is caused by a wide variety of factors: – Domestic violence – Difficult family relationships – Mental illness – Drug use – Poverty – Can you think of any other factors?

Cyber-safety • A relatively new health issue facing Australian youth • Cyber-safety concerns the wellbeing of young people as they use the Internet • Social media and web 2.0 present particular risks to young people • What are some of the potential dangers facing young people using the Internet?

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