At the beginning of 2015 in Biržai district municipality lived 5198 young people (14-29 years old). Thus young people accounts for about 20.04 per cent of all district residents. Biržai district youth health statistics and health problems analysis (hereinafter – analysis) revealed several negative trends in some health areas: sexual and reproductive health; nutrition and lack of physical activity-related diseases; mental health; injuries and accidents (preventable deaths) fields.
Analysis showed that over the five recent years from 2010 to 2014 the incidence of some diseases among young people in Biržai district municipality increased from 2 to 5 times or still is very high. In recent years, it is observed a relatively high number of abortions among young girls. It also became clear that young people are suffering from obesity, the number of obese young people in Biržai region over the past 5 years gradually grows. Meanwhile, the consumption of alcohol is the most common harmful habit among young people in Biržai district. It was found that mental and behavioural disorders due to alcohol use among young people in Biržai region over the last 5 years has increased 4 times. During the period 2010-2014 various external causes of death, which could have been avoided, accounted for more than 50 per cent young people’s deaths. It was also found that during this period there have been 10 suicides in Biržų district among young people, the relative rate of suicides exceeds not only Panevėžys county, but also Lithuania indicators.
So Birzai district municipality together with Public health bureau of Biržai district municipality and Youth association “COFA” decided to writte a project “Sveikesnis ir saugesnis Biržų jaunimo gyvenimas!“ (“Healthier and Safer Living of Birzai Youth”). Main Aim of the project is to improve the accessibility and quality of youth-friendly health care services (YFHCS) in Biržai district municipality, by helping experts of health system and other sectors as well as young people to orientate in diversity of provided services. During the project will be implemented YFHCS model corresponding to Biržai district municipality needs of young people and consisting of 4 algorithms in priority areas. During the project, the YFHCS coordinating center will be established in Birzai District Municipality Public Health Office, which will carry out YFHCS coordinating and case management function. The YFHCS coordinating center will be equipped with all necessary equipment and methodological tools and will be opened nearby Birzai youth center.
During the project will be organized various health-related activities for young people, teamwork training for specialists which will help for representatives of various organizations entering the YFHCS model to solve youth related issues. We will also organize parent education camp about adolescent sexuality issues, youth education seminars about healthy life style. We want to develop mobile YFHC services, established publicly available free exercise fitness equipment in the public space area, open modern information desks for health information promotion and other activities. In YFHCS coordination center will start to work YFHCS coordinator and part-time psychologist (0.3 of full time). YFHCS coordination center will also work with Youth health website www.sveikatostinklas.lt.
Implemented YFHCS model will help to solve problems both for the direct contact with young person in need of assistance (treatment, monitoring, and prevention) or indirect contact cases, when Biržai district youth health issues will be addressed by making systemic, organizational, financial, legal or political decisions.
The project will contribute to the Biržai district youth health amplification, will promote inter-institutional cooperation between the institutions, which we wish it would help solving and preventing young people health problems and take appropriate decisions. Expected benefits of the project in the long term – achieved and maintained the best possible youth health and well-being in Biržai District Municipality.
In order to achieve best results of the Project it will be implemented through working with other organizations which have youth work experience – Public health bureau of Biržai district Municipality, public institution – Youth association COFA, Birzai Youth Center and other friendly organisations. Cooperation between partners in the project activities will help to include more young people, therefore it is expected that this project will achieve a greater effect.
Project is financed by Norway Grants (www.norwaygrants.lt and www.norwaygrants.com).
Project applicant: Birzai district municipality (www.birzai.lt).
Project partners: Bergen University, Public health bureau of Biržai district municipality (www.birzuvsb.istaiga.lt) and Youth association “COFA“.