Young people's health

Being healthy during our younger years helps establish strong foundations for future wellbeing. Find out what we’re doing to help young Australians look after themselves and stay physically and mentally healthy.

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Young people’s health in Australia

The health of young people is important in establishing strong foundations for future wellbeing.

While most young Australians are healthy, some have disease risk factors that are preventable. Of young Australians aged 15 to 24:

  • 30% drink alcohol at levels that put them at risk of harm
  • 6.8% are daily smokers
  • only 3% eat enough fruit and vegetables
  • more than 1 in 4 15-17 year olds and more than 9 in 20 18-24 year olds are overweight or obese
  • over 300,000 are estimated to have experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress.

What we’re doing about young people’s health

We are working to give young people information and tools to look after their physical and mental health. Read how we’re supporting young people with information about:

  • alcohol – to help young people reduce risk and have fun at the same time
  • smoking and tobacco – to help young people understand the risks of smoking, and provide tips for saying ‘no’ to smokes
  • drugs – to help young understand the risks of taking drugs, and how to stay safe
  • mental health – to give young people the tools they need to look after their mental health and seek further support when needed
  • immunisation – to support young people keep up to date with vital vaccinations
  • bladder and bowel – to help young people manage these sensitive issues
  • palliative care – to help families make palliative care decisions for their young person.

The Australian Government also established a Youth Taskforce to find ways to involve more young people in policies and programs that affect them.

Contacts

See contacts related to young people's health.

Resources

The Action Plan makes sure that Australian children and young people, from all backgrounds and all walks of life, have the same opportunities to fulfil their potential, and are healthy, safe and thriving.

The National Action Plan for the Health of Children and Young People: 2020-2030 (the Action Plan)

The National Framework for Universal Child and Family Health Services

The Framework outlines the core services that all Australian children (from birth to eight years) and families should receive at no financial cost to themselves, regardless of where they live, and how and where they access their health care. The Framework was developed through a strong partnership between the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments and the non-government sector.

The National Framework for Universal Child and Family Health Services (The Framework)

Children and Young People in Out-of-Home Care

The Clinical Assessment Framework aims to improve responses to the health needs of children and young people in out-of-home care and ultimately improve their health outcomes. It was developed as part of the first National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009 – 2020 which has now been replaced by Safe and Supported: National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2021-2031 (Safe and Supported). Safe and Supported aims to ensure that children and young people in Australia have the right to grow up safe and supported, in nurturing and culturally appropriate environments.

Children and Young People in Out-of-Home Care

Latest resources

Latest resources

Certification statement – Youth Vaping campaign

This certification statement, signed by Secretary Blair Comley on 31 January 2024, certifies that the Youth Vaping campaign complies with relevant guidelines and policies.
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HPV vaccine explained for parents and guardians

All students aged approximately 12 and 13 will be offered the HPV vaccine for free in schools as part of the National Immunisation Program. The video explains the importance of the vaccine.