YOUNG people needing advice or support in Worcestershire can access ChatHealth – a free and confidential text service which links them with their local school health nurses.
Run by Worcestershire Health and Care Trust it’s a secure and confidential text messaging service available to 11-19-year-olds in the county.
It offers a way for young people to easily and anonymously contact their school health nurses for advice on issues such as bullying, emotional health, relationship problems, alcohol and drugs.
School health nurses provide a variety of support and information on issues which can impact the physical and mental wellbeing of young people.
They champion health promoting activities and programmes both in and out of school and work closely with other professionals and the local community.
Louise Langston, clinical services manager at the Starting Well Partnership said: ”During a time where lots of children and young people have been out of an education setting for prolonged periods, it’s more important than ever that they know we’re still here to support them.
“ChatHealth opens a new line of communication in the absence of face to face and gives young people an opportunity to anonymously get in touch and access support they need.
“We’re encouraging parents, carers and all organisations working with young people to share the ChatHealth information”.
School health nurses in Worcestershire are part of the Starting Well Partnership, a newly formed service which supports children, young people and families from pregnancy, to birth and throughout school life.
Led by Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, together with Action for Children, Barnardo’s and Redditch Borough Council, the partnership brings together a range of teams from health visitors, specialist nursery nurses, breastfeeding support, school health nurses, early help services and support for children who require more specialist care.
For more information on local support for children, young people and families visit the Starting Well Partnership website – www.startingwellworcs.nhs.uk
ChatHealth is currently available between 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday and can be accessed by texting 07507 331750.