Helping young people access sexual health services

Young people have lots of concerns when it comes to accessing sexual health services: will I be judged? Will they tell my parents? What examinations/tests will I need to have? Where do I need to go?A group of teenagers

A partnership project between Coventry University, Warwickshire County Council, NHS Warwickshire, Coventry city council, and NHS Coventry, is creating an app that guides and supports young people through the process of visiting a sexual health service.

Katie Newby, Senior Research Assistant at Coventry University writes:

The Coventry and Warwickshire sexual health service finder and guide combines messages that motivate and empower young people to access sexual health services, with GPS positioning and maps. This helps identify the user’s location and guide them to their nearest service.

We envisage promoting the app as a ‘friend’ who encourages and supports the user through the process of choosing the most appropriate service, busting myths about attending and providing reassurance.

The app will incorporate demos, using video clips or virtual tours, to help them understand what to expect at the different locations. It will also empower young people through a ‘rate my service’ function enabling them to provide anonymous feedback on their experiences which in turn should drive up standards.

This work, funded by HIEC West Midlands (South), is a partnership project between Coventry University, Warwickshire County Council, NHS Warwickshire, Coventry city council, and NHS Coventry. Young people are heavily involved in decision making about the look, feel and functions of the app.

The aim is to launch the app by summer 2012, to coincide with the school prom season. For more information contact Katie Newby.

Read about other sexual health apps

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