A new service in Salford is helping young people get confidential health and wellbeing advice via text message.
ChatHealth is a safe, discreet and confidential way young people aged 11-19 years old can speak to a qualified health professional.
By just sending a text message, they will get confidential advice from a school nurse in their area.
The Salford service is run by the School Health Team – part of Salford Care Organisation’s 0-19 Children’s Services Team.
The School Health Team consists of a range of professionals including specialist community public health nurses (SCPHN), community staff nurses and school health assistants.
Each primary and secondary school has a named school nurse who is supported by a link staff nurse and school health assistant, to promote health and emotional well-being in schools and in the community.
Helen Morrison, Startwell School Nurse/Specialist Community Public Health School Nurse Practice Teacher for Salford Care Organisation, said: “This is about engaging with young people in a safe, confidential way that works for them.
“We are here to address any concerns they have, provide advice and help them make positive health choices while also offering them the opportunity to discuss anything confidential. We can meet with them at school or, if they prefer, they can now simply send us a text – they don’t even need to tell us their name.”
The school nurse team also develop care plans to support pupils with medical needs such as allergies and deliver classroom-based health education and delivery of school age immunisations.
- The ChatHealth number for Salford is 07312 263176 and is open from 9am to 4.30pm.
The team can provide advice on a range of issues including relationships, bullying, alcohol, self-harm, healthy eating, drugs and smoking.