Moving away from home for the first time to begin life as a student is a very exciting time, but as Glasgow and surrounding areas prepare to welcome thousands of freshers, NHSGGC has some hints and tips on staying healthy and happy.
Linda de Caestecker, NHSGGC’s Director of Public Health said: “Being away from home for the first time brings lots of changes and we want young people to make informed choices about all areas of their health and well-being.”
Sex is part of student life for many young people and it’s important that they know the services which are on hand to keep them safe.
Linda said: “If you do decide you want to have sex, there are several ways to keep yourself safe and healthy. Condoms protect against both STIs and pregnancy. You can protect your own and your partner's sexual health by using condoms as well as your chosen method of contraception. Getting free condoms is easy; just find the nearest venue to you at www.freecondomsglasgowandclyde.org.”
Sandyford Central is the main service located near Glasgow’s Charing Cross. It provides Sandyford’s widest range of sexual, reproductive and emotional health services and is open each weekday, with early evening appointments available Mondays to Thursdays. There are also smaller, more local services in other parts of the city which are open at various times throughout the week, providing many of the same services.
The best way to find details of what services are provided at Sandyford is to visit the website - www.sandyford.org . Not all of services are provided in all locations, so please contact call 0141 211 8130 for advice and to make an appointment. The line is open Mondays to Fridays from 8.30am - 4.30pm, except public holidays.
Linda added: “Sandyford provides sexual, reproductive and emotional health care across the Glasgow and Clyde area that is supportive, confidential non-judgemental and sensitive to your needs. There are skilled health professionals who can discuss with you your sexual health or access to sexual health testing.”
Another health issue for students can be weight gain, often as a result of drinking more alcohol, exercising less and eating or snacking on nights out.
Linda said: “Please don’t ignore if the jeans starts to feel tight. Very simple things can help - don’t skip meals, remember to eat fruit and vegetables and bring a fruit as a snack. Start planning meals for the week - you will be amazed how much further your money will go compared to take aways! Finally, don’t forget to stay physically active. This will enable you to stay physically health and also promotes good mental health; there will be lots of clubs to join and it’s a great way to make new friends too.
“Another thing students need to do if they are new to the city is to register with a GP right away,” added Linda. “To find out your nearest GP, please visit our website www.nhsggc.org.uk and put in your postcode. Further information will also be available from your Student Health Service.
“All in all, the message from NHSGGC is to enjoy student life and all that it brings, while looking after your health. When out and about this Fresher’s week and beyond, it’s really important that friends look out for one another and stick together, making sure everyone gets home safely. Never leave your drinks unattended and don’t accept drinks from strangers; they could be spiked. It’s all about having fun but staying safe at the same time.”
For further information either telephone 0141 201 4429 or email [email protected]