Stock Girl with smartphone


Did you know that in 2006, 11.9 million young people between the ages of 10 – 19 were living in the UK (Wales & Sayer, 2019)? And young people remain less likely to seek help when they experience problems or worries about health and wellbeing, because of concerns about confidentiality, possible embarrassment, and not feeling confident about where to seek support (Wales & Sayer, 2019).

As part of CYPHP’s commitment to provide age-appropriate care, one of our early initiatives included supporting the set-up of the ChatHealth service. ChatHealth is a service provided by Evelina London’s school nursing team. They already provide valuable support for children and young people in schools, but recognised the opportunity to do more.

The ChatHealth messaging service was established to overcome some of the barriers to confidential support that young people often experience. ChatHealth helps young people contact their school nurse using a two-way short messaging service (SMS). It’s an easy to use and confidential service.

An audit of the ChatHealth service was conducted to investigate use and impact. During 19 months, young people and nurses engaged in over 190 conversations. From these, the most common conversations were about emotional health. Other conversation topics included sexual health, physical health, queries about relationships, and more. 

 2019 06 13 Chathealth1

Image source: Wales & Sayer, 2019


Over a quarter of initial conversations were followed up with a face-to-face appointment, and of young people who provided feedback about their experience of the service, 84.7% reported an above average satisfaction score.

2019 06 13 Chathealth2

Image source: Wales & Sayer, 2019


School nurses also felt there were many benefits of the ChatHealth service, as highlighted in the image below.

2019 06 13 Chathealth3

 Image source: Wales & Sayer, 2019


It is exciting to see that the service is doing well, and meeting its aims to support young people by providing age-appropriate trusted accessible and local care. If you would like more information, you can visit the ChatHealth website or read the full article at: Wales, N. & Sayer, L. (2019). Analysis of a bidirectional school nurse led text messaging service. British Journal of School Nursing, Volume 14 (3), pp. 121-131



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