COVID19: Support for Young People

COVID-19: staying at home and away from others (social distancing) guidance for young people

What sexual health service is still available for young people?

We understand how difficult it is for young people at this time and we want to reassure you that our confidential, non-judgemental services are still available. This means that we will not tell anyone, such as a parent or your GP if you need to contact us. We will talk to you about confidentiality and what this means at the beginning of your appointment. More information about this can be found by clicking here.

We are not going to report you if you need sexual health care and support during this time, and we are still here if you find yourself needing:

  • emergency contraception (often called the morning after pill) after having unprotected sex (sex without a condom)
  • testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • condoms to reduce risk of STIs
  • contraception to reduce risk of pregnancy
  • advice and support to reduce risk of pregnancy and STIs

Our priority is your safety and health. The only questions we will be asking will be those relevant to your care, so that we can support you through your appointment and any on-going needs you may have. Remember that all of our services are free of charge.

We are running our clinics slightly differently at the moment, which means that if you turn up to a young person’s clinic, you will be given a telephone appointment to reduce the amount of time you spend in the clinic. The best option is to stay at home and request a telephone appointment by calling 0300 300 2016.

 

Why might I be more at risk at this time by being online?

The coronavirus pandemic has led to an unexpected rise in screen time and so it is important to try and think about the things that may change or make you more unsafe.

Think about the increased risks of spending more time online:

  • a lack of face-to-face contact with friends and partners may lead to an increase in heightened risk-taking such as sending sexualized images (sexting), or receiving them from someone else

Click here for information about Sexting, Consent, and the Law

  • spending more time on online platforms means you may be more exposed to online sexual exploitation and grooming, especially from someone who you have never met before

Online groomers may hide who they are by sending photos or videos of other people, pretending to be someone of a similar age to you. They may try to become friends with you through online games and apps. For information, support and what to do if you’re worried about exploitation or grooming, click here.

Be careful what you share online when you're talking to people you have never met and the risks of meeting up when lockdown is lifted. For more information about online friends, what to know if you’re thinking about meeting someone from online and what to do if you’re worried, click here.

 

You can stay in control online

You can help to protect yourself online. Childnet Hub helps young people aged 11-18, to safely connect with others, to be creative and to discover new things. In the Childnet Hub you’ll find top tips, competitions, blogs and advice to help you to use the internet safely, responsibly and positively.

Click here to visit Childnet Hub

Reporting online sexual abuse

Are you worried about online sexual abuse or the way someone has been communicating with you online?  You can make a report or speak to an advisor through the CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection command) website. Click here to visit the CEOP website.

Fearless is a site where you can access non-judgemental information and advice about crime and criminality. Fearless provide you with a safe place to give information to us about crime - 100% anonymously.

 

Need to talk to someone?

If you are worried and you just need to talk to someone, you can contact Childline. They provide free and confidential support whatever your worry, whenever you need help.

 

Information for young people about sexual health

  • Visit our Young Persons Sexual Health Advice Guide (S.H.A.G) here
  • Click here for links to youth groups and organisations
  • Find out about local LGBTQ* support service here

Order free condoms by post here

Order a free chlamydia test by post here

If you want to talk to someone about making safer choices about sex and relationships, we can provide 1 to 1 support. Contact us on 0300 300 2016 and ask to be called back by a sexual health practitioner, or email us securely with your name, age and telephone number to snhs.sexualhealthpromotion@nhs.net. Please let us know if we can text you or leave a message if we need to arrange a suitable time to talk to you on the telephone.

Please be aware that this is not an urgent email line and we cannot book appointments with a nurse or doctor. We try to respond to emails within 48 hours.

 

If you are in immediate danger or are worried about a serious risk to your life or the life of others, please contact the police on 999.