Advancing Adolescent Health in the Asia Pacific: A virtual community to share knowledge and support collaboration

Adolescence is a critical developmental period where health determines developmental trajectories and outcomes during adolescence itself, into adulthood and into the next generation. More than half of the global population of adolescents lives in the Asia Pacific region. Yet globally, regionally and indeed locally in Australia, there are major unmet health needs, inadequate investments in responsive systems, and insufficient research and translation capacity in adolescent health.

Advancing Adolescent Health in the Asia Pacific: A virtual community to share knowledge and support collaboration is an opportunity to come together to share knowledge, showcase new findings and/or research methods with the overarching objective of helping to build capacity in the Asia Pacific region, including Australia, to improve adolescent health and wellbeing.

This seminar series aims to provide researchers, policy makers, practitioners, implementers, young advocates – indeed anyone interested in the health and wellbeing of adolescents – opportunities to enhance their understanding of adolescent health and wellbeing, with a focus on research.

This monthly series is supported by the Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) for Driving Global Investment in Adolescent Health. Funded by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, the CRE is focused on defining the health needs of adolescents to deliver research that drives investment in neglected areas of adolescent health including mental health, non-communicable disease risk, injury and violence and substance use. Led by a team at the Centre for Adolescent Health, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute it brings together leading Australian research groups including the University of Melbourne, Burnet Institute, University of New South Wales, University of South Australia, University of Queensland, and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute. These researchers have multiple relationships with academics, policy makers, clinicians and advocates across the Asia Pacific region. Learn more about the CRE here.

Register to join the series here

Upcoming sessions

The Age of Adolescence

Synopsis: In introducing this monthly virtual Seminar Series, Professor Susan Sawyer will provide the background of why adolescent health matters, describe the rationale for an expanded definition of adolescence, provide the background to our Centre of Research Excellence and in doing so, provide the context for why adolescent health matters in our region. The intention is that this session will set the scene for future seminars.

Speaker: Professor Susan Sawyer AM is based at the University of Melbourne, the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and the Royal Children’s Hospital. Susan holds the chair of adolescent health at The University of Melbourne, is the director of the Centre for Adolescent Health, a WHO collaborating centre for adolescent health, and the immediate past president of the International Association for Adolescent Health. She is a globally recognised leader in adolescent health with 30 years of experience in adolescent health research, policy, capacity building and clinical care, including a long history of collaborations and partnerships in the Asia-Pacific region.

Date: 1 February 2024

Time: 1:00 to 2:00 pm AEDT

Adolescent mental health in Indonesia and Vietnam

Synopsis: The National Adolescent Mental Health Surveys (NAMHS) were nationally representative household surveys of mental disorders among adolescents aged 10-17 years in Kenya, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Conducted in 2021, over 5000 pairs of adolescents and their primary caregiver were interviewed in each country, with measures including diagnostic mental disorder, risk and protective factors, service use, and even COVID-19. This session will focus on the why, how, and what of NAMHS i.e., why we did it, how we did it, and what we found.

Speaker: Associate Professor Holly Erskine, University of Queensland.

Associate Professor Holly Erskine leads the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Epidemiology and Services (CAPES) research stream at the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research. Currently, Holly is the Principal Investigator of the National Adolescent Mental Health Surveys (NAMHS), which involves nationally representative household surveys of the prevalence of adolescent mental disorders in Kenya, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

Date: 7 March 2024

Time: 1:00 to 2:00 pm AEDT

Driving responsive actions for adolescent health in our region: data as an essential foundation

Synopsis: Adolescent health needs vary substantially across our region, but also within countries by age, gender, ethnicity, remoteness and other factors. For health actions to be responsive to need, we therefore need good quality data that defines these needs. In this presentation we will highlight efforts globally, regionally and nationally using population data, and then will present a case study of understanding the contemporary drivers of adolescent pregnancy in our region.

Speakers: Professor Peter Azzopardi, Dr Marie Habito and Luo Li

Date: 4 April 2024

Time: 1:00 to 2:00 pm AEDT

Register to join the series here

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