A guide to health & well-being for young people

Know the basics

Being prepared & knowing the signs

As you get older you need to start taking some responsibility for your health, well-being and safety. Physical health is not just about the health of your body but helping your body to work at its full potential which includes exercise and nutrition, knowing your body and how it works, and how to look after it.

Depression, anxiety and conduct disorder are common in young people. These are often a direct response to what is happening in their lives. Your emotional well-being is just as important as your physical health. It is important to speak up if you are feeling unwell or you are unhappy about something which is happening.

You will face choices that will affect your health now and in the future around smoking, alcohol or having sex.

  • Take responsibility for your health, well-being and safety.

  • Find out what to do if you are unwell or injured.

  • Smoking or taking drugs puts your health in danger.

  • It is not safe to have unprotected sex, find out more and do not be forced into doing anything you do not want to.

  • Be aware of digital safety.

  • Speak to an adult you trust if you are unhappy about something in your life.

Learn how to spot the signs of serious illness and how to cope if an accident happens. If you know the basics and you are prepared, you will find it easier to cope.

Keep a small supply of useful medicines at home. Make sure you always follow instructions carefully and check use by dates. Read the label carefully.

Paracetamol & ibuprofen

Fever in itself is just a sign of your body fighting an infection. Consider using either sugar-free paracetamol or ibuprofen if you have a temperature of over 38°C, as these can help to reduce fever and pain.

Treat with either paracetamol OR ibuprofen in the first instance. It can take up to an hour for either of them to work. Paracetamol and ibuprofen should NOT be taken together at the same time. Children under 16 should not use aspirin.

Health tips

1. Register with a local GP, dentist and optician.

2. Get Condoms (and contraception if required) - even if you don’t plan to be sexually active it’s good to be prepared. Find out more from your local sexual health clinic. Their service is confidential and discreet.

3. Sleep and eat. Getting enough sleep and eating well will mean you have a better chance of staying healthy.

4. Make taking showers, brushing your teeth, cleaning and drying your clothes and using deodorant a part of your personal hygiene routine.

Make sure you have all your health details - either your Red Book or Health Passport - as you may need this in the future. If you don’t have them check with your parent/carer and they can help you get this information.

Source: www.nhs.uk/Livewell

If you are ill or injured, choose from the following services:

  • Concern

  • Service

  • What to do?

  • Grazed knee
    Sore throat
    Coughs and colds

  • Self-care

  • You can treat minor illnesses and injuries at home by using the recommended medicines and making sure you get plenty of rest www.nhs.uk

  • Unsure
    Need help

  • NHS 111
    For 24 hour health advice and information.

  • Call NHS 111 when it is less urgent than 999
    Telephone: 111

  • Mild diarrhoea
    Mild skin irritations (including spots/rash)
    Mild fever

  • Pharmacist
    For advice on common illnesses, injuries and medication.

  • To find your local pharmacy and its contact details visit: www.nhs.uk/chemist

  • High temperature
    Head injuries not involving loss of consciousness
    Persistent cough
    Worsening health conditions (inside GP hours)
    Minor bumps, cuts and possible fractures
    Abdominal pain

  • GP
    For the treatment of illnesses and injuries that will not go away.

  • Use NHS 111 out-of-hours service

  • Severe pain
    Worsening health conditions
    Loss of consciousness
    Broken bones

  • Urgent Care
    When you need healthcare in a hurry 24 hours a day.

    A&E or 999
    For very severe or life threatening conditions.

  • A&E

NHS 111 is free to call from any landline or contract mobile phone. Pay-as-you-go mobile phones require 1 pence credit to make a call.

If you are concerned or need advice, choose from the following services:

  • Concern

  • Service

  • What to do?

  • If you:
    Need advice on contraception
    Think you may have an STI
    Think you may be pregnant

  • Sexual Health Services

  • Local sexual health or GUM clinic
    Your GP

    If you are aged 16-24 you can request a free chlamydia testing kit

  • If you are:
    Feeling low or depressed
    Feeling suicidal

  • Mental Health Services
    Voluntary Services
    Childline 0800 111

  • GP
    NHS 111

  • If you are:
    Worried about personal safety
    Worried about domestic violence
    A victim of crime

  • 999 emergency services
    Local Safeguarding Board

  • Call 999 in an emergency
    Domestic violence helpline 24 hour
    0808 2000 247