Today’s youth and young adults with special health care needs have an active voice in the design, development and implementation of health policies that encourage a smooth transition from a pediatric to adult health care. They help health care professionals, policy makers and other adults understand what it is like to live their lives and they participate in discussions about how to help each other succeed. They model leadership and the power of self-advocacy. They are active in their schools, communities, families and places of employment. They want to share their message with other youth who have disabilities or chronic health conditions, as well as with friends and peers.
“YEAH” Youth for Education, Advocacy and Healthcare Council
The New Hampshire YEAH Council comes together monthly to discuss issues involved in what it means to be a young adult with a chronic health condition, and how best to make the transition to the adult health care system. They work to educate other youth on how to handle their transition to adulthood, as well as educating the medical professionals about what they can do to facilitate the transition. For more information visit their website or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Our purpose is to help the transition from childhood to adulthood, dependence to independence and pediatric medical care to adult medical care go more smoothly. We are here to help teens and young adults:
- Get the information they need to live independently…
- Live a successful life….
- Make decisions about healthcare….
- Inform your doctors and physicians about your healthcare and general needs….
- Make information easily accessible to teens who may lack parental guidance.
An interactive, content rich website geared towards granite state youth, ages 14-26, who are experiencing challenges in school, socially, or with physical or mental health challenges. It also serves as a resource for any young person looking to gain independence and knowledge about personal finances, employment, living on their own and going to college.
This is a first of its kind resource in NH because it was created exclusively for teens and young adults. The beauty of this website is that it’s a place for young people to access information, resources and inspiration as they begin taking the necessary steps to the life they dream of for themselves.
YEAHnh.org addresses six main areas that teens and young adults need to know to live independent, fulfilling lives. Those areas are advocacy, education, employment, finances, healthcare, leadership and life skills. There is a resource page for each of these categories with information on everything from how to write a resume and manage a personal budget to communicating effectively and transitioning from pediatric to adult healthcare. In addition, there are galleries where young people can submit and share artwork, music and stories about their journey to independence. The “Ask a Youth” feature allows visitors to submit questions about growing up with a disability, challenge or health condition that is answered by a team of NH teens and young adults. There are also news feeds highlighting headlines that pertain to the youth population, live Twitter and Instagram feeds, and a calendar of events.
YEAHnh.org is also the online hub for YEAH Council, a group of young leaders doing important work throughout NH in the areas of advocacy, education and healthcare.
♦ PODCAST – YEAH, My Differently Abled Life – In this podcast released by The YEAH Council (Youth for Education Advocacy and Healthcare) young people discuss something others may not understand, what it’s like to have a disability or special healthcare need while trying to live life as a youth. In this episode, YEAH members Emma Parcells, 16 at the time of recording, living with CRPS, Pots and other diagnoses and Martin Harvey-Olson, a 16 at the time of recording living with Lyme Disease discuss the various ways that their conditions effect their day to day lives. This episode was facilitated by Karin Harvey-Olson and recorded by Jennifer Pineo. (Transcript: YEAH, My Differently Abled Life)
Kids as Self Advocates (KASA)
Kids As Self Advocates (KASA) is a national, grassroots project created by youth with disabilities for youth. They are teens and young adults with disabilities speaking out. KASA knows youth can make choices and advocate for themselves if they have the information and support they need. Joining is free for youth and open to anyone who would like to be part of their network. Check out their website for great resources and materials.
(NH YEAH is also the New Hampshire Chapter of KASA).