Unity Sexual Health is the name of the new specialist sexual health service covering South Gloucestershire, Bristol and North Somerset. Unity provide free STI testing and treatment, contraception and pregnancy advice as well as other services and information which can be found on their website.
All Unity services are free, confidential (incl. for those under 16), non-judgmental and for people of all ages, genders and orientations.
The FPA (Family Planning Association) website contains detailed information and advice about contraception options and PDF leaflet, explaining the different contraceptive methods is also available to download from this site.
The C.Card scheme is a confidential service designed to enable those aged 13 to 19 to get access to free condoms, sexual health advice and signposting or referral to additional sexual health services. You first need to register for a c.card which involves a consultation with a trained worker and will include learning how to use condoms safely.
The C.Card scheme is available through:
- Your school health drop-in clinic
- The Brook outreach drop-in clinic (Patchway, Abbeywood & Marlwood)
- Hanham Woods Academy
- Brimsham Green
- SBL Academy
- Bradley Stoke Community School
- SGS College (all sites)
- Your FYPS worker
- Youth Offending Team
- Young People’s Drug and Alcohol Service
- Hanham Surgery
- Oldland Surgery
- Stoke Gifford Medical Centre
- Conygre Medical Centre
If you’ve had unprotected sex and need emergency contraception (the morning after pill) you can get this free from some pharmacies in South Gloucestershire as long as you are under 25 and the sex was less than 96 hours (four days) ago.
To find your nearest pharmacy that can provide emergency contraception simply text the word PHARMACY followed by EHC and your full postcode to 80011 and you will receive a free message back listing the 3 nearest pharmacies to the postcode you entered.
If you had unprotected sex more than four days ago you should go to your GP or contact Unity sexual health as soon as possible as you may still be able to prevent the risk of unplanned pregnancy.
Some pharmacies are also able to provide; free Chlamydia test kits and Chlamydia treatment (only for patients referred by the Unity Chlamydia Screening Office).
If you are worried that you might be pregnant you should visit a Unity sexual health clinic or go to your nearest pharmacy (details above) or GP as you may still be able to prevent the risk of unplanned pregnancy. All Unity sexual health services and some GP practices offer free pregnancy tests. More information about the options and services available to you if you are pregnant are available on the Unity website.
All young people, including those under 16, have the right to a confidential appointment at their GP practice (the doctors).
Some young people feel nervous or worried about booking an appointment or seeing their doctor or a practice nurse on their own about things like; going on the pill, getting condoms or doing a pregnancy test. Most practices now offer online appointment booking. Some practices offer nurse-led clinics and a few even offer specific sexual health or contraception clinics. The best thing to do is check your surgery’s website. If you don’t feel able to go to your own doctor’s surgery, you can visit one of the Unity sexual health clinics, even if it is not in South Gloucestershire.
SARSAS (Somerset & Avon Rape and Sexual Abuse Support) is a Bristol based service that also supports young people in South Gloucestershire. This organisation is very experienced at working with young people and will provide support.
- Women and Girls 0808 801 0456
- Men and Boys 0808 801 0464
The Bridge is another Bristol-based services that also support young people in South Gloucestershire. For help after rape and sexual assault or for free and confidential advice 24/7 Call 0117 342 6999
Unity Sexual Health is a free confidential service for Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.
Schools employ a range of people to look after your wellbeing. Some of the titles of these staff may vary in your school but you will be able to find out about them from a teacher.
Most schools have a nurse who either have a drop-in clinic or appointments you can make to see them. They can provide information about mental health and emotional wellbeing, and can help you access further support if this is needed. http://cchp.nhs.uk/cchp/explore-cchp/school-health-nursing
Off the Record: free and confidential one-to-one and group mental health support for 11-18 year olds, in schools and community settings. Young people can sign up online or find out more via the HUBS – www.otrbristol.org.uk, call 0808 808 9120 between 2 and 5pm, text 07896880011.
GP – you can make an appointment to visit your doctor or a nurse at the surgery to talk about any worries or concerns you have. Call your GP surgery to speak to the receptionist or go there in person. The receptionist will probably ask you who the appointment is for and why; this is to make sure that you see the right person at the right time. You don’t have to tell them why – you can just say it’s for something personal if you like.
If you think you’ll might have difficulty discussing your mental health with your GP, you can find advice about how to prepare How to Talk to Your GP About Mental Health
NHS Live Well – pages give advice on variety of sex related subjects including – are you ready for sex? knowing the risks, questions and answers about boys and girls bodies, it’s ok to say no, sex myths, sexting, and lots more.
ChildLine – free helpline for children and young people to talk about any problem 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 0800 1111 www.childline.org.uk
Samaritans – if something is troubling you call 116 123 or email email@example.com.
The Mix: telephone and email support for under 25’s. Freephone 0808 808 4994 (1pm-11pm) Text 80849 www.themix.org.uk.
Get self-help – free online cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) resources, www.getselfhelp.co.uk.
Reading Well; Shelf Help – a list of recommended books to help young people deal with a range of issues, available in all libraries.