Over 700 young people use virtual school nursing messaging service
11 April 2017

Over 700 young people in Brighton & Hove and West Sussex have used a virtual school nursing messaging service to get support

Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust (SCFT) is marking its first year anniversary following the launch of the ChatHealth service, which allows young people in Brighton & Hove and West Sussex to get confidential support and advice from their school nurse via text messaging, through a new video.

ChatHealth is an award-winning school nurse messaging service for young people aged 11-19 years. The service is available Monday to Friday 9am to 4.30pm throughout the year and has received over 2,830 messages from young people seeking support in its first year*.

Robert, aged 13 and from Littlehampton, has been supported by the service and wanted to share his experience with other young people. Robert talks about his experience in this short video http://bit.ly/2oMf5GW and encourages other young people to make that initial contact via text messaging so they too can get the support they need from their school nurse.

Another young person in West Sussex who has used the ChatHealth service said: “I’ve found the ChatHealth service really useful for the things that have happened. I feel more confident and I feel a lot happier. I like the idea of texting because it’s easier than face-to-face”.

An SCFT spokesperson said, “In the first year of the ChatHealth service 706 young people* have made contact via text to get the support they need. 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 also helps young people find out how to access other local services including those that support emotional health, weight management and healthy relationships. Confidential advice covers a wide range of issues such as bullying, eating, sleeping and drug and alcohol issues.”

The service is available on 07480 635423 (Brighton and Hove) or 07480 635424 (West Sussex) and enables young people in Brighton & Hove and West Sussex to send messages to a dedicated number which will be delivered to a secure website.

Further information about the ChatHealth text service including the video of Robert talking through his experience is available online: http://bit.ly/2oMf5GW

*Metrics included are reported for the twelve month period from 11 April 2016 to 31 March 2017.

Case studies

In collaboration with ChatHealth our School Nursing Team in West Sussex have published the following four case studies based on key issues which young people most often seek support and advice: