Talking sexual health with Highland youth workers

Youth Development Officers working in Highland joined our Wave team in Inverness earlier this month to take part in sexual health training.

The training, which was delivered in partnership with NHS Highland’s Health Promotion team, focused on confident conversations, giving youth workers the knowledge and skills to talk to young people about sexual health issues.

High Life Highland, a charity formed by the Highland Council, has a team of Youth Development Officers, each linked to a specific secondary school in the region. Individual officers work closely with young people and are well placed to provide information, advice and support across a range of sensitive issues.

However, it was identified that Youth Development Officers weren’t always confident talking about sexual health issues. Therefore Wave and NHS Highland’s Health Promotion team put this training together to help.

Launched in November last year, our Wave project provides a sexual health and relationships education programme to secondary schools across Highland.

Through the training we made sure the team all had a basic level of knowledge  and understanding about sexual health, and about local support services that young people can access.

We also gave staff the opportunity to share their experiences and examples of good practice. The session will help to ensure that young people across the region get access to consistent advice and support.

Following the training, the majority of people taking part told us that their knowledge had improved and that they would feel more confident talking to young people about their sexual health. Building on the training, staff have agreed to come along to schools when the Wave team visit to deliver workshops for pupils. This will not only help to reinforce their own sexual health knowledge, but will also help to ensure that Youth Development Officers are more visible as people that pupils can go to for support.

You can find out more about Wave from the project’s website – www.wavehighland.com.

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