An innovative text messaging service supporting young people to access healthcare advice, including sexual health expertise in Lincolnshire, has been recognised with a national award.
Lincolnshire Sexual Health (LiSH) is joining celebrations for ChatHealth, which scooped a Nursing Times Award in the ‘Nursing in Mental Health’ category.
Developed and supported by Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, ChatHealth has been implemented by more than 50 NHS trusts and healthcare organisations across the country for use across a variety of healthcare services.
ChatHealth was launched by LiSH in August 2019 as a means for young people aged 13 to 19 to reach sexual health advice and support from clinical staff.
Dr Sandya Wellwood, clinical director at LiSH, said:
“With Lincolnshire Sexual Health working in partnership with ChatHealth, it means young people in the county can access expert advice from our clinical team quickly and easily, in an easy and comfortable way.”
“We’re really proud to be part of the ChatHealth community and to see the difference it is making to young people.”
ChatHealth was selected from a category of 11 fantastic entries in the Nursing in Mental Health category. Judges praised ChatHealth for providing an innovative solution to accessing mental health support, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic. They felt it had a great reach, and liked the fact that it gave coverage to other issues, including its use in other services like sexual health, as well as mental health support.
Accepting the award on behalf of the 2,000-strong community of ChatHealth nurses, clinical lead, Caroline Palmer, said:
“This award is not just for the ChatHealth team in Leicestershire, but for all the teams across the country. ChatHealth nurses offer mental health and wellbeing support day in and day out, and it’s wonderful for them to be recognised in this way. The Covid-19 pandemic has had a big impact on usage, and demand for ChatHealth text services has massively increased in recent months with as many implementations going live in the last six months as there was in the whole previous year.”
Evidence has shown that young people in particular like the fact that ChatHealth enables them to make discreet contact with health professionals ‘behind a screen’ while busy parents value its convenience.
Following a ChatHealth conversation, one young person commented: “I love that it’s anonymous and that it’s a texting service. That means you can openly talk about your problems freely without feeling nervous.”
For trusted sexual health advice and support from LiSH using ChatHealth, text 07520 649893.