International Adolescent Health Week (IAHW)

This week is International Adolescent Health Week (IAHW)

I’m Meg, a 21-year-old student studying a Bachelor of Health Sciences at La Trobe University. This year I have been fortunate enough to be chosen as an international youth ambassador for International Adolescent Health week 2021. As a Youth Ambassador, I am one of 28 youth between the ages of 14 and 24 representing 16 countries across 5 continents. My role as an ambassador is to advocate for young people in Australia by promoting and raising awareness around adolescent health and inspiring young people to be the healthiest versions of themselves.

What is IAHW?

It is a global initiative for young people and those close to them to come together, celebrate and improve the health and wellbeing of over 1 billion adolescents around the globe today.

In bringing recognition to this week, together with the Student Health and Wellbeing team I’ve highlighted a few key health issues that affect our student population at La Trobe and some supports that you might not know about.

So, join us in recognising International Adolescent health week because small actions by many people looking after each other can create great change!

Sexual health

Did you know that the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners recommend that everyone under the age of 30 who is sexually active should get an STI check every 12 months? Some people may have different testing needs, and you should talk to your doctor about how often you should get tested.

You can access testing at:

Mental Health

According to a 2017 Orygen report on the mental health of Australian university students, more than half of tertiary student aged 15 to 25 reported high or very high psychological distress. Mental illness is also one of the major barriers to university achievements or completing their degrees.

We have many services, supports and resources available at La Trobe and in the community that are free and confidential for students. If you or someone you know are struggling with mental health, don’t hesitate, reach out today.

  • La Trobe University Counselling – free for students of La Trobe
  • La Trobe University Crisis Line for Out-of-Hours Mental Health and Wellbeing Support – Phone 1300 146 307 or text 0488 884 100. This service operates 5pm-9am on weekdays and 24 hours during weekends and public holidays.
  • Lifeline: 13 11 14
  • Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636
  • Headspace: 1800 650 890
  • Reach Out

Sexual Harm

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, since the age of 15, Approximately one in five women (18% or 1.7 million) has experienced sexual violence (the occurrence, attempt or threat of sexual assault).

Everyone has a role to play to reduce sexual harm on our campuses. If you witness or experience unacceptable behaviour? We have our very own Safer Community, La Trobe’s own confidential support service for students who experience something concerning, threatening, inappropriate or uncomfortable, either on and off-campus.

If you or anyone you know have been sexually assaulted, you can seek help from:


The 2019 National Drug Strategy House Survey found that alcohol consumption at very high levels was more common among younger people than the general population. People aged 18–24 (14.6%) were more likely to consume 11 or more standard drinks monthly compared with people in other age groups.

Indigenous Mental Health

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Adolescent and Youth Health and Wellbeing Report, 2018, revealed concerning statistics that 1 in 3 young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders experience high to very high levels of psychological distress in their lifetime.

There are many supports available at La Trobe and in the greater community that use frameworks that ensure culturally sensitive advice and care for our Indigenous community.

Please call the La Trobe Student Health and Wellbeing Resource Centre on 9479 1085 or visit Student Wellbeng website for more information on support and services available to you.