ChatHealth service launched for Cumbria pupils

A new mental health service, ChatHealth, has been launched for school pupils in Cumbria.

The service allows pupils to discretely communicate with their school nurse, by sending confidential text messages, concerning health-related issues.

The ChatHealth service is available to secondary school pupils between the ages of eleven and nineteen and has been implemented to encourage students to seek help if they believe they may be experiencing a problem with their mental health.

The service providers also believe that through enabling pupils to communicate through text, a technology they enjoy and are comfortable with, students will be more comfortable in engaging with school nurses.

Amanda Hulse, School Nurse at Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) and ChatHealth project lead explained: “The Service will allow the School Nursing team to provide advice and support to any young person aged 11-19 on a wide range of issues, this may include bullying, emotional health and exam worries - the list is non exhaustive. ChatHealth is a confidential way of speaking to a member of the School Nursing team about these worries and the service can be used anonymously. We will always honour this confidentiality and support the young people in the best way we can but will always prioritise the safeguarding of any young person if a risk is highlighted.”

Hulse added: “As chat health becomes more embedded in the county it will also allow us to see any trends that are emerging enabling ourselves and other services to act on this. For example if an issue that is always coming up is tooth decay we can put more resources into educating young people about the importance of cleaning their teeth. Likewise with any other issues, from sexual health to smoking, bullying, mental health or general health issues.

“The ChatHealth Project has been a remarkable team effort and has enabled effective collaborative working between CPFT and Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, we are so thrilled to be finally launching the service and look forward to working in a new and innovative way.” 

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