THE Public Health Agency (PHA) has hosted an event to discuss the on-going work with the further education sector in Northern Ireland on how best to support the sexual health of young people.
The Best Practice Seminar was held in conjunction with the Southern Health and Social Care Trust (SHSCT) and Southern Regional College (SRC).
The seminar looked at the various partnership models currently used across Northern Ireland to target young people in relation to their sexual health and the provision of sexual health services currently available to young people.
Dr Bernadette Cullen, Consultant with the Public Health Agency, said: “The seminar looked at the current models of service available to young people in Northern Ireland and explored how best to build and develop these.
“It is important that young people get information on how to protect their sexual health and therefore can make informed choices.”
Mr Brian Doran, Chief Executive of Southern Regional College, commented: “The health clinics are a lifeline for many of our students at Southern Regional College. The partnership between education and health services is an integral part of SRC’s pastoral care and student support.”
Gerard Rocks, Acting Assistant Director for Promoting Wellbeing in the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, said: “In 2006, the trust undertook some action research with young people locally regarding access to sexual health services. They responded that they wanted to be able to access services at times and in locations that were more suited to their needs. Since then, we have worked with community and voluntary organisations and with both SRC and South West College to develop and deliver services that best suit the needs of those young people.
“The partnership working with our colleagues in Further Education has been extremely valuable in ensuring that young men and women are supported to look after their own sexual health and wellbeing, and we want to continue to build on this for the future.”
The event was held at the Southern Regional College in Banbridge.