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School children can access help and advice through our confidential text service during the summer holidays

It has been an extremely unusual school year for children and now, with the summer holidays starting, we want those seeking help and advice to know they can use our ChatHealth texting service over the break.

Our school nurses are on hand to give young people help and advice on a range of issues via the confidential service.

They are there for those aged 11 to 19, operating across east and central Lancashire, Bath and North East Somerset, Wiltshire and Essex.

Young people can contact the service relevant to the geographic area they are based in. The call details are in the image on this page.

Chathealth allows young people to text their school nurse for advice on everything from smoking, alcohol and drug abuse to bullying, problems with friends or family, self-harm and puberty.

It is available from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, (excluding bank holidays), and while it is not a new service, we are promoting it as we understand some young people may feel they have had no one to turn to for confidential help during the current global pandemic as they have not been able to attend school on a regular basis since March.

And even when they have gone back it may have only been for a much shorter period each week than they are used to.

Charlotte Forward, Professional Lead 5-19 for Public Health Nursing & School Age Immunisations, said: “Our ChatHealth service provides important help and advice to young people whatever they may be facing.

“This school year has been a stressful time for many, with schools closed or partly open in the last few weeks. It is extremely important that young people  know that while they may not have had school friends or teachers around as much as they are used to, we are here if they want to speak to someone.

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