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Teenage Health 

Mental Health

As a teenager, important decisions in your life are constantly being made and you have to deal with the stress of exams, making friends, and so on. It's completely normal to get caught up in all of those things and not take care of your mental health. You will most likely have overwhelming emotions either about something or towards someone at some point during your teenage years and the most important thing that you can do is to get in touch with a trained volunteer from organisations designed to help you with your issues, and talk through your problems with them. You can access them by calls or texts, making the process less stressful and more informal.

These following services can help you:

  Childline: 0800 1111. Childline has a completely free helpline that is specifically aimed towards young people up to 18 years old. They can talk to you about any issue you have in your life, no matter how big or small, at any time of day. 

Samaritans: 116 123. Samaritans offers a free helpline, and they will listen and talk through your problems, without overwhelming you with their own advice or own opinions, unlike most counselling services, and can be accessed any time of day.

Shout: 85258. Shout offers free text support with a trained volunteer 24/7, for anyone struggling with overwhelming or painful emotions. It may be more comfortable to open up to a volunteer by text rather than on a call, and Shout is the first text support helpline in the UK.

NHS(low self-esteem). This page offers many small but important ideas to make yourself more comfortable in your own skin; although these tasks may seem redundant, these small changes are vital to combat the negativity you may be receiving from others.

Sexual health

Around this time in your life, you may start becoming sexually active. There are a number of possible diseases and infections that can be transmitted via sex, and the possible chance of becoming pregnant when you might not yet be ready to raise a child, so the sources below will provide advice and resources such as test kits, regarding a large range of sexual health issues.

These following services can help:

Sexual Health London. In order to access this site, you will need to create an account with your mobile number, email address and other personal information such as sex, age, and postcode. Websites such as this are the only ways of getting a free STI testing kit delivered in discrete packaging to your home address, which is an alternative to a sexual health clinic.

NHS(contraception). This NHS page offers a complete set of information on the various types of contraceptives as well as many FAQs regarding contraception. It details the locations nearest to you, where the NHS offers contraception for free. Also, under each form of contraception, there is a step-by-step guide on how to use it.

Physical health

Although it is important to take care of your body, problems may arise if you place too much importance in your physical appearance. Disorders such as body dysmorphia are very common in teens, and issues like these are often not talked about enough. As everyone is physically different, there are no "set in stone" rules, however there's some general advice applicable to all teens:

A good sleep routine

Make sure you are getting enough sleep, it is recommended to have a minimum of 8-9 hours of sleep as a teenager. A standardised sleep cycle is very important: although it is very enjoyable staying up late, going to bed at roughly the same time can lead to you being less tired and less irritable.

A healthy amount of exercise

The NHS recommends 60 minutes of moderate (e.g. walking)  to vigorous (e.g. running) exercise per day, and 3 days per week this exercise should include sports such as football or basketball, or other muscle/bone strengthening exercise, such as sit-ups or weights.

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