An initiative of the National Women’s Council of Ireland
Your Health Matters is a The Y Factor campaign that seeks to enable young women to have a better understanding of what they can and should expect from healthcare providers in order to have more autonomy and control over their physical, mental and sexual and reproductive health. We want young people to be able to talk about their experiences of health and to be clear about how those experiences have been empowering or disempowering to them as young women. We want young women to know what they should be entitled to in relation to healthcare and to know what options they have if that has not been available to them. We want other people - like parents, educators, media and most importantly, healthcare providers to consider how young people - especially young women - are supported around their health. We want healthcare services to improve to provide young people with professional, open, respectful, informative and, where appropriate, confidential healthcare that will form the basis of their relationship with their health for the remainder of their lives.
The Y Factor's Steering Group of young people were concerned about the kinds of experiences that they, their peers and friends were having when availing with health services.There is a strong emphasis currently on people taking responsibility for their own health, some people felt that they were still being treated like children, weren't being provided the confidentiality to which they were entitled and often felt judged or embarrassed during a healthcare visit. They decided a campaign was necessary to explore how widely these experiences were shared, to provide accurate, accessible and realistic information to young people and to bring the issue to public attention with a view to improving how young people experience healthcare. A working group of young women came together to figure out how to do this and they have developed the ideas for the campaign and continue to drive it.
There are a number of phases to the campaign:
Telling us your story or issue in relation to healthcare and young people. The Y Factor provides a space for young people to get their voices heard and the more we build our knowledge of how young people really experience healthcare, the more effective our campaign will be. Add your voice to those of Jennifer, Leanne, Kathy and Meabh from our video - you don't even have to give your real name! You can do this by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, by posting or sending a message to our Facebook page. We will guarantee your privacy if you would not like your name to be used. If you fancy writing a blog on the issue - we'd LOVE to read and it share it on our page
Your involvement is key in making Your Health Matters a success. The Y Factor is actutely aware that not all women have the same life experiences. We particularly want to hear from young people under the age of 18, those with disabilities, those from minority ethnic groups - including Travellers, LGBTQ people, or if you live in a rural or disadvantaged area.