NHS GREATER GLASGOW has launched a new report which celebrates the success of its youth health projects throughout the city.
Talking the Walk recognises the contribution of the NHS, voluntary projects and local authorities towards the education, support and empowerment of Glasgow's youth population.
It looks at the last five years of youth health projects and the important contribution they make to help young people deal with major health issues. These include mental health, sexual health, smoking, drugs, alcohol, physical activity and healthy eating.
Tom Divers, Chief Executive of NHS Greater Glasgow, who launched the report stated: "I am heartened by the scale and range of the initiatives taking place in our area, the sheer energy and commitment of the main players and the tremendous contribution of young people in this process."
Amongst the projects listed in the report are a mixture of community-based initiatives such as the YHS (Youth Health Service) in Maryhill/Woodside LHCC as well as city centre initiatives such as The Place at the Sandyford Initiative and Caledonia Youth. It also features the Text 4U service that offers sexual health advice via text messaging.
One of the key issues raised by the report is the importance of involving young people in the development of services. Many of the projects have consulted young people on issues such as access to health services, staff attitudes, confidentiality and service opening times and locations.
The report is also useful for medical practitioners and youth workers as Health Promotion Officer Julie Dowds, one of the authors of Talking the Walk, pointed out.
She said: "The report shares good practice and provides inspiration to those looking to improve services for young people. This report ensures that practitioners and managers throughout Greater Glasgow are aware of projects in their own locale and other areas. "
Although the projects are diverse they all share the same key philosophies:
· Partnership approach to working
· Respect for young people
· Involvement of young people
· Trust and credibility amongst young people
· On-going evaluation
Julie added: "These innovative projects encourage young people to take an active interest in their own health and wellbeing during their teenage years and into their adult life.
"Access to health services is also a major issue for different groups of young people such as those who are in care or are homeless, ethnic and religious communities and gay, lesbian or bisexual young people. The report recognises the importance of geographical location and the need for relevant opening hours to meet the diverse needs of service users."
Notes to Editors
Talking the Walk is available at www.nhsgg.org.uk
Contact: Heather Macnaught 0141 201 4767