To mark #ChildrensMentalHealthWeek and to support young people to manage their mental wellbeing, the 0-19 Health and Wellbeing Service in Wirral is launching ChatHealth, a new text messaging service for 11-19 year olds.
Young people across Wirral will be able to find confidential advice and support from their local school nursing service on a range of health and wellbeing issues, including anxiety, bullying, relationships and emotional health, by text.
This new service, a winner of the NHS Innovation Challenge Award, can provide advice, information and guidance, and signpost to other services if needed. It does not replace face-to-face services, but particularly under the current restrictions due to COVID-19 it will make it easier and safer to get in touch with a school nurse confidentially and anonymously. It also offers a way to get in touch for those who feel reluctant to talk about difficult or sensitive issues.
Lindsey Costello, Service Manager for the 0-19+ Health and Wellbeing Service, said:
We are proud to have launched our new text messaging service during these difficult and challenging times. ChatHealth is a quick and easy way for our young people to access a variety of support and information on issues which can impact their physical and mental wellbeing. With a large number of young people home-schooling our school nurses are on hand to provide confidential support via text.”
ChatHealth is currently available between 9am - 5.00pm Monday to Friday (including school holidays and excluding bank holidays) and can be accessed by texting 07480635538. Anyone sending a text outside these hours will receive an automated message with advice on where to get help if they require it urgently. When the service reopens the sender will then receive a reply to the message.
The service has also launched a dedicated children and young people’s website. With the click of a button, parents, carers and young people can access a range of local and tailored support, information and advice, including videos, resources - ranging from baby packs to fussy eating to puberty support and vaccination schedules, as well accessing local online support groups. To search for a particular service people can either use the simple A-Z service directory or the search function and young people can complete an online feedback form about their experiences about the services they’ve received.
So, if you’re a parent, carer or young person looking for support and information visit www.wchc.nhs.uk/children