Priority three: Establish a youth advisory council to include youths’ voices in health policy.

In developing health policy, youth stakeholders need to be at the table.

This will have huge implications, not just now but also in the future.

Since 2015 we have been speaking with young people from across Canada. These individuals told us that the health care system was not created to meet their needs. On a regular basis, youth face a number of unique barriers when trying to access health care services, such as time, geographic, financial and information barriers. They are often unable to find the specific services they require, such as primary care, sexual/reproductive health services, culturally specific services, mental health services, LGBTQ+ specific services, affordable dental and pharmaceuticals.

Without leveraging youth to drive policy on issues impacting the current and future health of young people in Canada, our system will not move forward the way it needs to.

Youth are asking for better and are willing to participate, they just need to be heard and given the power to drive change.

The Prime Minister’s Youth Council and various youth advisory’s set up by MPs across the country are a step in the right direction but more needs to be done.

What we need in order to bring our voice to health policy development:

  • The development of a youth advisory council(s) by Federal, Provincial and Territorial Health Ministers to provide advice on how to ensure voices of young Canadians are brought into health policy discussions.


“We need to change our relationship with health, we need to stop talking about only what to do when we get sick but how to not get sick, and just eating healthy and exercising isn’t that, it is more and we need to educate others but also be included by those higher up so we can change this.”
–Focus Group Participant

“It is obvious that youth aren’t consulted when these documents [health information online] are created.”
–Focus Group Participant