We understand and can relate to teenagers. Teens feel comfortable sharing their stories with us
Teen years are a great time to learn about health issues. We see many young people and find teenagers and youth are open to sharing their health stories with us, in the privacy and confidence of a consultation. We would like to build a caring relationship, based on trust and good communication. We will support you and help provide whatever care you need. This includes supporting your transition toward coming to the doctor by yourself.
We are youth friendly GP Doctors
We will listen to you, we are easy to talk to, we will make you feel comfortable and we are non-judgmental. Whether you need medical treatment or just someone to listen, we are here to help.
Many young people hope that their health problem would go away by itself. Please, come and see us at any time – it is easy to make an appointment at a time that suits you. Your privacy and personal choices are always respected.
If you feel embarrassed about bringing up topics like mental health, drugs and alcohol, sexual health (including contraception, STIs and pregnancy) please don’t worry – we may ask about these things, even if you come in to see us for another medical reason. This is because we care about you and want to check in that you are OK. We are interested in teenage health!
Moving toward Health independence
As adults, when we go to the GP we expect that our health issues will be kept private and confidential. Knowing this helps us trust our GP. This trust makes us feel comfortable so we can give the GP information to make the right diagnosis, offer the best advice and provide the right treatment.
Seeing a GP alone creates the same confidentiality and trust for your child. When your child feels comfortable visiting a GP alone, they are more likely to be honest about their worries, like bullying at school, relationships or substance use. They are more likely to ask questions about sensitive issues. This gives us the chance to offer guidance on things like sexual health, as well as general advice on things like keeping fit, eating well and reducing stress.
We also have the chance to practise communicating with a GP alone, a skill needed for the rest of our lives. And it helps the young person take greater responsibility for their health. When a young person sees the GP alone it also gives the GP an opportunity to get develop a better understanding of the young person as an individual.
For parents, encouraging your child to see the GP alone shows that you support and respect their developing independence.
Parents and teenagers working together with us
Parents want to feel confident that their children have the skills to manage their own health, and to get the best health and wellbeing outcomes they can. Young people won’t become expert at managing their health overnight – just as with other skills, you need practice.
We find that some teens come in with their parents for the whole visit or may see the GP alone for part of a consultation. Some people come by themselves or bring a support person like a friend. You can give your own consent to medical decisions from the age of 16. You also have a right to refuse medical treatment from the age of 16.
We find the best way to engage teenagers in health conversations is to be open and non-judgemental. We listen to the young people and validate their feelings, offer chances to continue conversations and support their healthy choices.
We have many years of training with emphasis on communication skills with teenagers, and we have long experience in working with young people, so we can help parents and teens work together on health issues.
What health issues can you help with?
We can help with all teenage health issues. We help through a range of ways, including listening, treatments or advice; or referral to other services who can help.
Come and see us about any health issue – for example acne, anxiety, healthy weight and body image, bullying, stress, family problems, contraception advice, safe sex, alcohol, drugs or mental health issues. A GP doctor means “General Practice” – we can help with any health issue or connect you with the right person.
Mental health in teenagers – GP in Nelson
If you are feeling distressed or upset, come and see us. When you come in will talk and find out how you are. We want you to be heard, listened to, and understood. We would like to work in partnership with you, we will not judge you or lecture you.
Mental health is an important part of your health and we take every chance we can to make sure you are well. Depression, anxiety, self-harm, bullying, eating disorders and substance misuse are some of the most frequently encountered mental health problems in young people.
Everything you say will be kept private. We might want to share information with other health professionals in order to better help you, e.g. another doctor or psychologist, but we will ask your permission first. The only exceptions to confidentiality are when you or someone else is at risk of getting hurt.
Sometimes you may come in to see us with another health issue – we might take the opportunity of your visit to “check in” with you about your mental health. With your permission, we might undertake what is called a “HEADS” assessment. This stands for: Home, Education and Employment, Eating and Exercise, Activities and peers, Drugs and Alcohol, Depression and suicide, Sexual health, Safety and Strengths.
We would like to have a conversation with you, to help share any ideas or concerns about any aspects of your life. Not only are we interested in your physical health, but your emotional and psychological health as well. Even if you have no concerns at the time, bringing up issues related to emotional wellbeing can help us build trust and act as an invitation to talk about these issues in the future.
If we have identified any problems, we can then identify which aspects of problems are within your ability to change. We will help you come up with a goal, help with ideas to put into action, and make a plan to move forward.
Skin care, acne and pimples
We can help with treatment plans for acne. Severe acne can leave permanent scarring.
Body image, Weight management and self-harming
Alcohol and drug use
Diet and Exercize