Youth Health Action Network (YHAN)
YHAN is a Toronto Public Health youth engagement initiative. Youth are involved in planning, coordinating and taking action on current and emerging health issues affecting youth within Toronto. If you are between 16 - 24 years old and live in the City of Toronto, consider applying to be part of our network. For more information, contact us by e-mail at email@example.com or register online.
Introducing our YHAN Members
Watch video interviews with YHAN members
YHAN members were asked:
- What issues concern them most.
- What skills and interests do they bring to the team.
- What do they hope to accomplish as a YHAN member.
Health issues specifically addressing youth, and the social determinants of health are issues that concern me the most. With my honours degree in health science from University of Western Ontario, I'm currently a youth support worker at LAMP Community Health Centre in south Etobicoke. I hope to get more insight into how and in what ways youth determine health and help youth provide health resources and solutions, and advocate for improved public policy.
I am primarily concerned with the rising obesity youth rate due to unhealthy food choices and lack of physical activity. I feel this can be prevented by providing youth with the necessary resources to make healthy food choices, and ensuring equal access to healthy food for all. I'm also concerned about tobacco use among youth and feel that continuing to develop tobacco denormalization strategies is important.
I have always been interested in pursuing a career as a medical doctor. My interest in health is not only locally based. Ever since volunteering at the International AIDS Conference held in Toronto, I have been involved with the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research as an executive member of the CANFAR chapter at York University. As well I am interested in learning more about the social determinants of health and understanding why some groups of people are healthier than others. I bring skills including being hardworking, focused, personable, and an efficient worker.
As a member of the Youth Health Action Network, I hope to work with like-minded youth to develop strategies and initiatives targeted at youth that will improve the overall health of the community.
I am concerned about the problem of healthy nutrition and well-being among young people, which can potentially lead to more serious health issues, including chronic diseases. As an immunology specialist student at the University of Toronto, I'm able to look at the health issues from the scientific point of view. Besides time-management skills, my creative approach to problem solving and optimism make me eager to carry out projects together with the other YHAN members. I'm hoping to gain more experience in managing projects that will raise awareness and concern of health issues in our society. We have a great team of interesting and enthusiastic young people, and together we can make a difference.
Renee M. Campbell
I am particularly interested in sexual health issues so that everyone, particularly young people, can be aware of how to protect themselves and make informed decisions. As a member if the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus Sexual Health Peer Educator group for the past two years, I have created displays and facilitated workshops, which are skills that will transfer to the TPH team. As a YHAN member I hope to gain experience in proposal and policy development. I'm also excited about changing health issues in our community with other young people who are as passionate about health concerns as I am.
Health problems that are life-long like cancers and diabetes, and preventable health issues like smoking and drug effects are of concern to me. I bring presentation skills, outreach and hosting an event to Toronto Public Health. I hope to learn awesome life skills of being and working in a youth-oriented committee which will certainly guide me for my future career.
Children and youth are experiencing a problem with obesity. Although new healthy physical programs are in place, there are just other distractions preventing kids from exercising. As a charismatic 16-year-old student and young coordinator for my local church group, I am able to formulate and implement solutions for different issues. I hope to expand my knowledge of pressing health issues, and raise enough awareness about them to enact effective change in young people's lives. I want to change the perception of adults who believe that youth do not contribute positively to society and I hope to be the voice of youth for our city, and some day, our country.
Tobacco, healthy eating (especially chronic illness such as diabetes), social determinants of health to adopt healthy public policy, and mental health are issues that concern me the most. I bring research skills/school knowledge, creativity and a holistic sense of health to the team. I hope my contribution to YHAN will leave a long-lasting effect on the community through the development and implementation of action on the health issues we target.
Studying kinesiology at York University, and as an aspiring health and physical education teacher, I am deeply passionate about young people being able to prevent obesity through being physically active and engaged in sports, nutritional health and drug use prevention. I'm also concerned about smoking and tobacco use among young people. I bring some political background to TPH, having worked with the City of Toronto and the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration. I have planned over 80 special events for the past five years, including sponsorship and marketing. I have several goals: to implement a youth health framework to help young people be conscientious about the health issues that affect them and how they can achieve success; to network with community health leaders and groups on their projects; to do extensive health research for government policy changes to improve the health of all young people.
I have always had an interest in lung health, tobacco, food security and community health. I'm also passionate about working with youth, so when I heard about the TPH YHAN, I felt that it was a perfect match.
I have worked in many priority neighbourhoods as a Youth Outreach Intern/Community Development Worker in a variety of youth-led initiatives to help develop youth's leadership and life skills through mentoring, facilitating workshops, and advocacy. I am a graduate from the Creative Institute for Toronto's Young Leaders, a leadership program that is co-certified by the United Way and the University of Toronto.
I bring skills such as leadership, integrity, punctuality, interpersonal and communication experience. I am delighted to contribute to TPH YHAN, meet new people and be able to develop new skills.
I hope to be a part of community initiatives that successfully impact the overall health of citizens in Toronto, including mobilizing communities to help create effective change. I hope to create a sustainable project that can be reproduced and duplicated in the communities TPH serves. I also hope to expand my knowledge in the field of Public Health.
I am interested in chronic and infectious diseases affecting paediatric and adolescent populations. Specifically I'm concerned with sexual health (healthy relationships, risk behaviours for HIV/STI transmission, and barriers in accessing sexual health services), substance use (tobacco, alcohol) and mental health. I'd like to know more about implementing public health interventions to reduce these behaviours. Presently a student in the Public Health and Safety program at Ryerson University, I also work at the Research Institute at the Hospital for Sick Children where I'm involved with research examining the experience of children and adolescents affected by chronic health conditions. I hope to contribute and collaborate with YHAN members to advocate effectively for youth in Toronto for public health campaigns, programs and services to address the issues youth face today.
I am most concerned about mental health and sexual health among youth. I feel that there are not enough resources or information available or targeted towards them. I bring public speaking and facilitation skills that I have acquired by doing workshops on sexual health with Planned Parenthood of Toronto. I also bring my interpersonal skills, motivation to take initiatives and my anti-oppressive practice skills acquired through the social work program at Ryerson University. As a YHAN member I hope to address health issues impacting youth and create change through awareness and policy change.
I am most concerned about the biological and psychological implications that childhood cancer has on youth. I am also concerned about the growing number of infectious disease cases due to the lack of powerful antibiotics and the rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria. I love human biology and have a passion for exploring the intricate world of human health. As a cancer survivor, I have a personal connection with cancer. With over five years experience in health-related advocacy and awareness issues, I hope to gain expertise in health research and become proficient with statistical and design-based software. I also hope to voice my ideas and concerns with the health system, perhaps publish a research paper with a team, and build a network with other like-minded individuals.
What concerns me most is food security, mental health and chronic disease. Two ways to combat these issues are investigating and improving health equity as well as promoting health literacy.
Having grown up in an under privileged minority community, I understand first-hand the reality and severity of an unequal systemic distribution of goods and resources which can be one of the root causes of poor health. Promoting the health of all people, particularly those at a disadvantage, can help "level" the playing field so people can access health care. My education at the University of Toronto and my work and living experience as a newcomer youth in Toronto will help me to educate my community and communities similar to mine to improve their health.
As a member of YHAN, I hope to be able to be part of a collective and strong force of people committed to promoting health by influencing health policy, educating/training the community as well as themselves and promoting health and quality of life for all people in the City.
Ethan (Hao) Li
Drug abuse, including tobacco use, is the topic that most concerns me. Also, I'm interested in alcohol abuse, unsafe sex and self-mutilation (e.g. wrist cutting). I want to change people's lives and help prevent more children from committing acts of self-harm. I bring critical thinking and interpersonal skills, insight and experience of public health issues, either from personal experience or from peers. I wish to help create policies that require a more elaborate educational system that touches upon these health issues. A good way to prevent children from becoming alcoholics and drug addicts is to inform them of the risks early on.
Issues that concern me include obesity in youth, alcohol abuse and smoking by young adults. I bring leadership and organizational skills from many events I have helped organize in the past. I hope to contribute my time and skills to address current health issues among young people and promote healthy living.
I am most concerned with STI transmission, unwanted pregnancy, body image and negative self-esteem, and limited access to medical help. With four years experience as a sexual health educator, I am especially interested in making confidential and accessible counselling or mentoring programs available to youth who are sexually active, have confusion about their sexuality or have low self-esteem. I hope to contribute to a positive future for the youth of today, and youth to come. Even if I can change or implement one small thing that helps someone through hard times, I feel that I would have accomplished a lot.
Having previously worked as a sexual health educator, I am most interested in the topic, as it effects Toronto youth. In addition, I'm interested in healthy eating, active living and other preventative issues that have an impact on every person. I am about to graduate with my BBA so I bring business administration and marketing skills, along with extensive workshop facilitation and public speaking experience. In my free time, I love to travel everywhere I can. I hope to be successful at each health campaign so all Torontonians can become more aware and educated. I also look forward to learning about advocacy skills.
The health issues which concern me the most are alcohol and substance abuse, since these two forms of addiction can have such a devastating impact on young teens, like me. I want to educate my friends, fellow classmates and young teens everywhere about how alcohol and substance abuse can affect their lives and their family and friends.
I am currently participating in Co-operative Education, a program designed to give students a sense of what the workplace is like and to work in the field or career that interests. I share teamwork, initiative, effective communication and organizational skills, as well as media communication.
As a YHAN member, I hope to accomplish more workplace skills such as program planning, navigation of the system/government, budgeting, work ethic and the ability to multi-task. I also wish to acquire a better understanding of how health promotion initiatives can influence actions taken by young teens, and to evaluate our project's success.
I'm concerned about leading a healthy lifestyle including getting appropriate amounts of sleep, healthy eating, and exercising regularly. I am also concerned with substance abuse. I believe in taking care of our bodies to improve our quality of life. I bring leadership and fundraising skills from student council. I am going to become a relief doctor, so I'm interested in learning career-related skills such as making ethical decisions. I want to know about the health concerns of Toronto youth to serve them better. I hope to encourage youth to get into good shape and apply their knowledge of healthy habits to themselves. I also hope to educate youth about sources of misleading health-related information to help them make educated decisions. I want to change the way being healthy is perceived by youth to promote its benefits.
I'm most concerned with raising awareness and increasing the understanding of diseases so that they can be prevented. I would like to explore food security and mental health issues. Because of my work experience at Princess Margaret Hospital and as a member of the Muslim Cancer Support Group, I know about some issues people face when suffering from chronic diseases. Coming from an immigrant family, I am aware of the issues faced by new immigrants. I am fluent in English, Urdu and Hindi, and bring organizational and communication skills to this project. As YHAN member I would like to help others in my community, increase advocacy in the society, investigate new issues and also work in partnership with other community organizations.
I am concerned about how some youth underestimate the harm of alcohol and drugs when they lean towards harmful substances if they are not able to cope with their personal problems. Also I'm interested in girls' eating habits and the influence the media has. I have travelled to Thailand and worked with women and youth who have problems with depression. With four years of academic knowledge about the health field, I work with a youth after-school program to teach the importance of healthy living. I hope to see changes in the youth community and want to learn helpful initiatives and information youth can apply to their surroundings. I would like to expand my horizons to gain new insight and knowledge about various public health concerns.
Last updated September 2011