From Monday 27 July 2020, 11-19 year olds across all Tower Hamlets educational settings will be able to access advice and support from their school nurse team, simply by using the new confidential ChatHealth text messaging service.
ChatHealth allows young people to simply and confidentially ask for help about a range of issues including emotional support, sexual health services or bullying to name a few. They can also make an appointment with a school nurse if they prefer.
Messages sent to the dedicated number [07507 332 942] are delivered to a secure website and responded to by a member of the school nurse team. Out of hours, anyone who texts the service receives a 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.
This new text messaging service complements the regular school nurse service, part of the borough's 0-19 School Health and Wellbeing service, provided by the GP Care Group.
School nurses provide a vital service to support young people's health within the school setting, giving advice on bullying, health, drugs, self-esteem, relationships, and sexual health. They also offer one-to-one confidential appointments and hold open access clinics in schools. However, the ChatHealth service is another way to reach young people in a way that they feel comfortable with.
Geraldine Collins, School Health and Wellbeing Service Lead, said: "With young people increasingly using technology to access services, we felt ChatHealth was ideal to encourage them to engage with the team. 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 school nurses can support them on a wide range of issues."
ChatHealth is available Monday-Friday from 9am-4pm, automatic replies will be sent to message received out of hours.
Young people who require medical help and advice outside of these hours are advised to contact their GP or call 111.
Visit the Tower Hamlets ChatHealth page for more information.