A new text messaging service for 11-19 year olds in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, which they can use for confidential advice and support from their School Nurse, is now live.
ChatHealth has been introduced by Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s (MPFT’s) School Nurses, and is an easy way for young people to confidentially ask for help about a range of issues, or make an appointment to see a School Nurse.
They can also find out how to access other local services including emotional support or sexual health services.
Claire Bailey, Interim Managing Director Children and Families Care Group at MPFT said: “With young people increasingly using technology to access services we felt ChatHealth was ideal to encourage them to engage with the teams.
"It’s really important that young people feel they have someone to contact to ask questions about issues connected with their health and wellbeing, and our School Nurses can support them on a wide range of issues.”
Messages sent to the dedicated numbers – 07520 615723 if the young person lives in Stoke-on-Trent or 07520 615721 if the young person lives elsewhere in Staffordshire – are delivered to a secure website, and responded to by trained School Nurses from MPFT.
Anyone who texts the service out of hours receives a bounce back message explaining where to get help if their question is urgent, and when they can expect a response. Texts are usually replied to within one working day.
Young people messaging the service will be able to receive advice and signposting on a wide array of subjects including bullying, health, drugs, self-esteem, relationships, and sexual health.
ChatHealth is also available to parents across Staffordshire to use for guidance and signposting from MPFT’s Health Visitors or School Nurses dependent on the age of their child as part of Staffordshire’s new Families Health and Wellbeing Service, on issues including weaning, behaviour, health, developmental concerns and concerns regarding their child’s weight or emotional wellbeing.
The number for parents to text is 07520 615722.