A recent government survey shows youth health centres are effective in reaching out to kids.
Kids in 52 schools throughout the province access these health centres to get advice and support.
Recently the Health Promotion and Protection department evaluated them and found 86 per cent of students in these schools knew of them and more than half of those surveyed use them.
According to the evaluation:
• 25 per cent of students accessing the centres wanted to know about sexual health.
• 16 per cent were looking for relationship advice such as bullying, boyfriend/girlfriend issues, family issues, violence and abuse.
• 15 per cent had questions about emotional health issues including eating disorders, stress or anxiety, depression, and self harm or suicidal thoughts.
• 13 per cent had concerns about physical health such as physical activity, injury or illness, and nutritional concerns.
• 39 per cent had other questions about teen parenting, racial and cultural concerns, housing and homelessness, gambling, and school.
“Students are afraid to go to hospitals and counselling, especially in such a small town where everyone knows everyone. This sadly makes us put our health at the bottom of our lists,” said Chrissy Maine, a Grade 12 student at Springhill Junior/Senior High School, in a release.
There are 19 Youth Health Centres in the HRM including one in Citadel high school that also serves five junior high schools.
The province funds $800,000 to district health authorities to provide youth health centres.