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Your health matters!

(Brussels 11 October) One third of young women avoid doctor due to fear of not being treated well - NWCI’s The Y Factor launches "Your Health Matters" Campaign
To celebrate International Day of the Girl, today, The Y Factor, National Women’s Council of Ireland’s youth initiative, will launch Your Health Matters, a health information campaign run by and for young women that aims to build positive attitudes to young women and their health.

Deirdre McCaughey, 26 from Monaghan and volunteer with the Y Factor said:
“Young women’s health and their bodies are often being discussed in public debates. However, the actual experiences of young women are usually completely absent from these discussions. Your Health Matters gives a voice to young women to talk about their experiences with health services in this country and promote a discussion about it.”

An online Y Factor survey of 350 young people revealed a number of significant barriers for young people to access healthcare and a lack of knowledge about their rights when it comes to doctors and dealing with healthcare staff.
Terry Levine, 23 from the U.S., who volunteers with the Y Factor project said:
“The Y Factor survey uncovered some quite unsettling information about young people’s experience of health services. 3 out of 4 identified cost as a reason they would be reluctant to go to a doctor, hospital or other clinic; while one third are reluctant to go due to fear that they will not be treated well. A third also say they cannot discuss embarrassing or sensitive topics with their doctor, and only half know what is and isn’t confidential between them and their doctor.”

Rebecca Smyth, a 22 year old student from Kilkenny and volunteer with the Y Factor project said:
“Your Health Matters provides easily accessible information for young women to have a better understanding of what they should expect in terms of health information and health service provision. We want to encourage young people to get involved in the campaign, to take and discuss our information leaflets and to visit our website and our Facebook page, where we have put up lots of useful information.”

Your Health Matters is envisaged as a long term campaign which will also seek to engage with health care professionals to build positive relationships between young women and healthcare providers and improve health service delivery.

Elva O’Callaghan, Co-Ordinator of NWCI’s Y Factor project said,
“We’re delighted to be launching this campaign today. National Women’s Council of Ireland established The Y Factor in order to give young people a voice in seeking equality for women, and Your Health Matters is a great example of how it does that. Young people have identified physical, mental and sexual health as an issue of importance to young women and girls and are taking a really proactive and positive approach to do something about it.”

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