Health

 

Issue

Health, as a topic, breaks down into a few different headings: sexual, physical and mental. Different things came out quite strongly for each one so we have separated them to show this better.

Sexual
It seems that local young people are aware that they can get free condoms and sexual health advice but aren’t always too sure of when and where they can go for it. Issues surrounding unprotected sex (i.e. unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections) are still a high priority for Hangleton & Knoll youth.

Physical
Easter-Holiday-activities-2012-122Problems with drugs and alcohol came out really strongly from the consultations with 28% of local young people seeing them as an issue. The effects of excessive drug and alcohol use can obviously spread over into issues with mental health, environment and problems with the general negative perception of young people by others in the community, so it presents quite an important problem. Young people want more physical and sporting activities on the whole.

Mental
National statistics tell us that mental health issues exist for a substantial number young people. During the workshops all the participants talked a lot about the effects of bullying, stress, self-esteem and depression but didn’t necessarily think of them as an issue relating to their ‘mental health’. We see it as important to banish the taboos about mental health and support our local young people to explore these issues in a supported way.

Actions

Greater awareness should be raised about the help and support available around sexual health. In particular, local drop-ins in Hangleton and Knoll should be more widely advertised, for example through leaflets/posters and internet blogs. Some advertisement could also appear at youth events in order to promote all types of health areas.
Hangleton Park Fun Sports- Aug 12th 2011-037

More anti-bullying campaigns need to take place. Inclusive activities should be organised and advertised in the right way so that young people from different backgrounds have the chance to work together. This would bring new understanding and acceptance by young people not seeing different cultures, ethnicities or sexual orientations as weird or strange because they have become accustomed and friends with a wide range of people, therefore making young people perceive these subjects as normal.

Greater awareness and support of mental health around the country should be promoted by the government and other youth projects. In schools this would especially be useful and will reduce stigma on this subject.

Colleges, the council and charity funded youth organisations should offer cheap or free physical/sport activities. More opportunities to get off the estate and experience something new should also take place.

Youth clubs and drop in services should give more opportunities to have 1-to-1 support and counselling etc. Group work around all areas of health could be put in to practice more regularly/widely.

We want to raise awareness by advertising and forming groups that discourage people from doing things which could potentially harm their health and making sure they are aware of risks.