MAKING the right choices when it comes to sexual relationships is vital for teenagers.
Getting expert advice and having meaningful discussions with those who understand and can help is all part of the journey.
That’s why a new sex and health education program is under way at Warrnambool’s Brauer College.
Doctors and nurses will educate year 9 students as part of the Docs and Teens program.
Dr Kate Carison, from the Cambourne Medical Clinic, community health nurse Laura Main, Brauer health co-ordinator Julie Roberts and adolescent health nurse Andrea Waddington have initiated the program in Warrnambool.
Dr Carison said the program was successfully run in most Geelong high schools.
“We’ve been trying to launch it as a widespread program in the Warrnambool and surrounding region for a couple of years,” she said.
“The aim is that we get a GP and a nurse or school educator to come in and do two sessions with the year 9 group.”
Dr Carison said one of the reasons the program was being implemented was due to high rates of sexually transmitted infections.
“There is a lot of chlamydia in Warrnambool in the under 25 age group,” she said.
The hour-and-a-half-long sessions cover a broad range of health topics and issues.
“We basically go through a whole lot of information about healthy relationships, sexual health, how to access a GP and how to access STI testing,” Dr Carison said.
“We do some work on reducing drug use and alcohol abuse and the key aim is to break down the barriers between young people and accessing GPs.”
Brauer held a session in 2012 and Mrs Roberts said the program fitted in well with the school’s current health curriculum.
“We have a fairly extensive personal development program in year nine and Docs and Teens slots into that schedule,” she said.
Students will also learn about the healthcare system, the options and services available in Warrnambool and receive information on getting their own Medicare card.