COVID 19 has placed unusual stresses on all of our lives, none more so on young people under 25, many of whom are being forced to choose between isolating with a partner, or isolating with their family, and making difficult decisions about work, contraception and relationships.
Here we take a look at some of the advice that The Brook has to offer on looking after your sexual health when access to services is limited.
Practise safer sex.
Condoms are the only method of contraception that also protects you from Sexually Transmitted Infections. You can get condoms in pharmacies, supermarkets and online. There are often options to get condoms for free if you are under 25, but if not you can buy them for as little as 99p.
Make sure you have enough contraceptive pills.
If you use the contraceptive pill (or patch or ring) check now how many you have left and contact the place you get it from as soon as possible if you think you might run out in the next week or two. If you do run out, make sure you have another method of contraception available.
Don’t delay emergency contraception.
If you think you need emergency contraception, do not delay seeking help. If you have been instructed to self-isolate or have COVID-19 symptoms, call you nearest sexual health service for guidance on how to access emergency contraception.
Mental Health and Emotional Support
If you or someone you know needs help right now, you should, if possible, try to talk to a parent, carer or trusted adult. If that’s not possible, there are other sources of help and support:
Samaritans: someone to talk to about whatever you are going through. Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Childline: a huge range of free support, guidance and activities for under 18s, including a free phone helpline and 1-2-1 counsellor chat.
YoungMinds – crisis messenger: text the YoungMinds Crisis Messenger, for free 24/7 support across the UK if you are experiencing a mental health crisis. There are also details of other sources of help and support.
On My Mind – urgent help: a list of organisations offering mental health help and support collated by the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families. On My Mind also has ideas for self-care and a directory of mental health services.
Child Bereavement UK: a helpline offering confidential support, information and guidance to children, young people, parents and families experiencing bereavement.
For more information, check out the Help & Advice section of The Brook’s website for information and guidance on sexual health, relationships, wellbeing and loads more. There’s also lots of signposts to useful helplines and services.
Remember to wash your hands, practice social distancing, stay at home, protect the NHS and Save Lives.
Talking Medicines are providing this content for information purposes only, please consult your healthcare professional for any specific advice.