The 'high-risk youth' label: A constructive critique
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In the current study I explore the 'high-risk youth' label and why and how it is applied to young people in relation to community supports and service providers. Particularly, implications of this label are examined by detailing The Centre, a youth outreach, as an alternative to conventional approaches from community supports and service providers towards meeting the health needs of young people. The Centre is a pseudonym. Using a youth engagement model as an approach to harm reduction, The Centre appointed two experienced service users in leadership positions as peers to contribute towards developing programmes and delivering services. Collaborating with both peers at The Centre, the following research questions were explored: a) What do the peers understand as "good health"?; and, b) What do the peers identify and describe as barriers to attaining what they understand as "good health". With the use of Photovoice, a Participatory Action Research (PAR) method, the peers answer these questions by identifying and describing multiple themes through discussions of often complex and intersecting realities in regards to what they voice as their own health needs. By presenting the peers voice as captured through discussion, I provide an explanation for social exclusion from processes that define them and their needs as a fundamental determinant of health.