Virtual help available for West Sussex teenagers

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Teenagers in West Sussex can now receive virtual support for their personal problems.

Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust has launched a new service allowing young people to receive confidential help and advice from their school nurse through text message.

ChatHealth is an award-winning school nurse messaging service for young people aged 11-19 years.

The service will be available Monday to Friday 9.00am to 4.30pm throughout the year.

An SCFT spokesperson said: “We’re really excited about this new service. It’s an easy way for young people to confidentially ask for help about a range of issues, or to make a face-to-face appointment with a school nurse.”

“The service will also help young people find out how to access other local services including those that support emotional health, weight management and healthy relationships.

“Feedback from pupils who are already using the service in other parts of the country is very positive, many of them say they like using it because it is less embarrassing and quick and easy.”

The service is available on 07480 635424 (West Sussex) and will allow young people to send messages to a dedicated number which will be delivered to a secure website.

Texts will be responded to by the SCFT’s school nursing team within one working day.

The service will be available on Monday to Friday 9.00am - 4.30pm excluding bank holidays. During Out-of-hours, anyone who texts the service will receive an automated message with advice on where to get help if their question is urgent.

Anyone aged 11-19 and attending secondary school can receive confidential advice on a wide range of issues such as bullying, emotional health and wellbeing, healthy relationships, sleeping, eating and drug and alcohol issues.

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