It’s that time of year again when the streets and bars are bustling with new students. NHSGGC is urging this year’s freshers to have fun but take care during this exciting time in their lives.
Just as Glasgow and surrounding areas prepare to welcome thousands of freshers, NHSGGC has some hints and tips on staying healthy and happy – during the celebrations and beyond.
NHSGGC’s deputy Director of Public Health Emilia Crichton said: “It’s one of the most exciting times of our lives. We’re done with school, we are making lots of new friends, maybe moved away from home for the first time and our social lives are stratospheric. We’re faced with more choices than ever before. We might even think we’re invincible.
“Student life brings lots of changes – and choices - and we want young people to make informed decisions about all areas of their health and well-being.”
Sex is part of student life for many young people and it’s important that they know the services which are on hand to keep them safe.
Emilia said: “If you do decide you want to have sex, there are several ways to keep yourself safe and healthy. Condoms protect against both STIs and pregnancy. You can protect your own and your partner's sexual health by using condoms as well as your chosen method of contraception. Getting free condoms is easy; just find the nearest venue to you at www.freecondomsglasgowandclyde.org.”
Sandyford Central is the main service located near Glasgow’s Charing Cross. It provides Sandyford’s widest range of sexual, reproductive and emotional health services and is open each weekday, with early evening appointments available Mondays to Thursdays. There are also smaller, more local services in other parts of the city which are open at various times throughout the week, providing many of the same services.
The best way to find details of what services are provided at Sandyford is to visit the website - www.sandyford.org . Not all of services are provided in all locations, so please contact call 0141 211 8130 for advice and to make an appointment. The line is open Mondays to Fridays from 8.30am - 4.30pm, except public holidays.
Emilia added: “Sandyford provides sexual, reproductive and emotional health care across the Glasgow and Clyde area that is supportive, confidential, non-judgemental and sensitive to your needs. There are skilled health professionals who can discuss with you your sexual health or access to sexual health testing.”
Being out and about at parties or in the city’s bars and clubs for the first time can be exciting – but can also bring dangers.
She said: “We don’t want to stop students from having a good time and socialising with new friends. But it’s important to keep your wits about you.
“When out and about this Fresher’s Fortnight and beyond, it’s really important that friends look out for one another and stick together, making sure everyone gets home safely. Never leave your drinks unattended and don’t accept drinks from strangers; they could be spiked. It’s all about having fun but staying safe at the same time.”
“Another thing students need to do if they are new to the city is to register with a GP and dentist right away,” added Emilia. “To find out your nearest GP, please visit our website www.nhsggc.org.uk and put in your postcode. Further information will also be available from your Student Health Service.
“All in all, the message from NHSGGC is to enjoy student life and all that it brings, while looking after your health,” added Emilia.
For further information either telephone 0141 201 4429 or email [email protected].