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A new guide has been published to help young people understand and manage their own health and well-being.

Over the last three years, Essex Boys and Girls Clubs has worked in partnership with Healthwatch Essex, enabling them to engage with young people in our club network and with participants in the National Citizen Service program.

Healthwatch asked the young people to share their experiences of health and care services in Essex, and in particular asked about their knowledge of available services for mental health, sexual health, drugs and alcohol, smoking, learning disabilities and young carers.

The findings of this study were published in the YEAH! report (Young Essex attitudes on health and social care) and are very mixed.  Many young people reported positive experiences of kind frontline staff such as A&E nurses and paramedics. However, they also discovered that 7 in 10 young people had not heard of the 111 service and many had gone to A&E due to difficulties in accessing GPs or finding alternative appropriate services. Almost all of those engaged had received information about the topics surveyed, yet few knew where to go for information and support.

As a direct response to the YEAH! report, Healthwatch Essex have produced this Essex-wide ‘guide to health and well-being for young people’, available at www.essexyeah.org.uk and also as a downloadable pdf.

The guide will help to point young people in the right direction towards a healthier, less stressful and more rewarding lifestyle. It explains where young people can get help and information and provides clear and sensible ideas on what to do if you feel you need that extra bit of help.

As a young person it is important to start following a healthy lifestyle now in order to avoid any problems when you are older. Healthy habits are easier to get used to as a young person, and they can improve the rest of your life. You will also look and feel better, right now!

This guide also contains useful websites, agency advice and information about various key issues.

You can find more links to other local and national services for young people here >