How can the Care Leavers 18+ Service support your health?
Your health matters to us. Being healthy does not only mean being physically healthy, but it is also defined by your mental and sexual health. As a care leaver, there are lots of services available to ensure all aspects of being healthy are met.
It is important to register with a GP and your Personal Adviser can help you do this if you would like.
A General Practitioner (GP) treats common medical conditions and can refer you to other services if you need them. You must provide details of your ‘Next of Kin’ to your doctors and other key health services that you access. It is important to keep this up to date, for example, if you become a parent. It is the name of the person who would be contacted on your behalf in the event of an emergency.
If you move homes, it will be your responsibility to inform your GP and sign up with a different one. Click on this link to find a GP near where you live.
You need to keep your Personal Adviser up to date with your GP and next of kin details.
If you need someone to talk to about any concerns that you don’t feel comfortable sharing with your Personal Adviser or a trusted person, then the Care Leavers 18+ Service can signpost you to relevant services that may be able to help. If you feel like you are struggling, speak up. There are lots of people who are here to help you.
There are services available that can provide support in several life events that may present with difficulties:
Mind is a mental health charity that can support you if you are experiencing mental health problems. Click on this link to access Mind’s website.
The Samaritans can support you if you are having a difficult time or are worried about someone else. Click on this link to access The Samaritans’ website.
Every Mind Matters can give you expert advice and tips to look after your mental health and wellbeing. Click on the link to access the Every Mind Matters’ website.
Papyrus is a national charity dedicated to the prevention of young suicide. Click on the link to access the Papyrus website.
Sane is a leading mental health charity and can help you if you are experiencing mental health challenges. Click on the link to access Sane’s website.
Live Well Kent is a free service for anyone over 17 that aims to help young people improve their mental and physical health and wellbeing. Ring 0800 567 7699 or go to the Live Well Kent website to discuss how they can help you.
For those aged 18 - 25yrs, if you would like help to access leisure, sport or fitness activities then speak to your Personal Adviser who can help you see what is available in your local area for free. There are many free fitness facilities in local parks and beach fronts that you can access.
Kent Sport has information about sport opportunities, including disability clubs and activities in Kent and Medway. Click on the link to access the Kent Sport website.
If you need help and support with sexual health, you will be referred by your Personal Adviser to the right services for you. Your support worker or keyworker may also give you advice and guidance.
If you are having sex or thinking about having sex it is important that you protect yourself against sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancy by using a condom and planned contraception. You can speak to your Personal Adviser for assistance with arranging this.
If you do not feel comfortable discussing this with your Personal Adviser and want to find out about sexual health clinics, contraception and sexually transmitted diseases you can look at the link below. There are also services that provide you with free condoms, contraception, pregnancy tests and much more.
Kent’s Sexual Health Service offer high quality, confidential sexual health services. Click on the link to access Kent’s Sexual Health Service website.
Drug and Alcohol Support
There are several services that can help with drug and alcohol treatment including advice, information, drop in services, structured treatment, counselling and harm reduction techniques. If you need help and support, let your Personal Adviser know.
In East Kent:
Tel: 0300 123 1186
You can also visit the Forward Trust website for information about drugs and alcohol support programmes.
In West Kent:
tel: 0844 225 0652
You can visit the Change Grow Live website for help and support with alcohol and drug issues.
Alcoholics Anonymous can support you if you think you have a problem with drinking. Go to their website by clicking on this link to find out more about AA services or call 0800 917 7690.
Frank can give you honest advice and information about drugs and how to get help. Click on this link to go to the Frank website or call 0300 123 6600.
Dentist and Optician
If you are receiving benefits, you are entitled to free dental and optician care. They are also free if you are under 18 or are in full-time education.
If you are awaiting asylum / ARE we can support you to complete a HC2 certificate for help with health costs. Visit the NHS website to find out more about the HC2 certificate.
If you apply to the NHS Low income Scheme and receive a HC2 certificate for help with health costs, you are entitled to:
- free NHS prescriptions
- free NHS dental treatment
- free NHS sight tests
- help with the cost of glasses and lenses
- help with the cost of travelling to receive NHS treatment
- free NHS wigs and fabric support
It is important you keep these appointments, otherwise you could be at risk of being taken off the list of patients.