England’s got it right

There are many very cool resources about sex and sexuality for teenagers in the UK. I’ve spent some time this week surfing through them, and thought some of you might be interested as well. (I have a fair number of readers from England, but the Internet sides of these organizations are clearly available to everyone, regardless of local.)

Brook Advisory Centers — Putting Young People First — is the only national voluntary sector provider of free and confidential sexual health advice and services specifically for young people under 25. Brook is a registered charity, and has 40 years’ experience of providing professional advice through specially trained doctors, nurses, counselors, and outreach and information workers to over 200,000 young people each year.

bpas for young people — bpas supports reproductive choice by advocating and providing high quality, affordable services to prevent or end unwanted pregnancies with contraception or by abortion. bpas is now Britain’s largest single abortion provider and cares for almost 50,000 women with unwanted pregnancies each year, as well as providing emergency contraception, sterilisation and vasectomy.

ChildLine — Truly an amazing organization, one that will never, ever be duplicated in the US, regardless of the dire need. Here is their description: ChildLine is the UK’s free, 24-hour helpline for children in distress or danger. Trained volunteer counselors comfort, advise, and protect children and young people who may feel they have nowhere else to turn.

Education for Choice — Education For Choice is the only UK-based educational charity dedicated to enabling young people to make informed choices about pregnancy and abortion. Education For Choice’s work is focused on the word choice. Whilst we concentrate on the issue of abortion, as it is the issue that receives least attention, we believe that work with young people should value all pregnancy choices equally. Our ethos is that the best outcomes of unintended pregnancy occur when the woman involved has been able to make her own informed choice.

Family Planning Association (fpa) — FPA is the UK’s leading sexual health charity. Our purpose is to enable people in the UK to make informed choices about sex and to enjoy sexual health. (fpa provides services and information to teenagers as well as adults.)

Get Connected — Get Connected provides a free, confidential helpline that gives young people in difficult situations the support and information you need to decide what you want to happen next. It could be anything from a listening ear to somewhere safe to stay for the night.

like it is — likeitis gives young people access to information about all aspects of sex education and teenage life. Topics on the likeitis site include: teenage pregnancy, help and advice, periods, lovebugs (sexually transmitted infections), sex, peer pressure, sexuality, contraception, emergency contraception, and puberty.

London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard — We are a voluntary organization with charitable status. We have currently just two paid workers, and all volunteers identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual. This enables us to more fully understand the needs and situations of our callers. We are committed to discussing safer sex and the prevention of the spread of HIV and AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. Whilst we never try to influence the decisions of our callers, we aim to make them aware of the wider implications and the issues facing them.

Needtoknow — Information portal for teenagers with an online magazine and signposting to other useful websites. Sections include health, relationships, money, travel and the law.

RU thinking — Sexwise is a helpline that offers free, confidential advice on sex, relationships and contraception. Anyone under 18 can call. It’s open from 7am to midnight, seven days a week.

There-4-Me — There4me is for you if you’re between 12-16 years old and are worried about something and need some help. We can help with loads of issues like abuse, bullying, exams, drugs and self harm. If there’s something bad that’s happening and you want to know what to do, you can talk to us and no one else has to know.

The Hideout — The Hideout provides help, information and support for children and young people – whether you’re currently living with violence, you’ve experienced violence in the past or if you know someone else going through it and you’re looking for help and information. We’ve included lots of information to explain what domestic violence is, how it affects you and where you can go for more help.

The Site — TheSite.org aims to be the first place all young adults turn to when they need support and guidance through life. We believe all young people have the capacity to make their own decisions and life choices, provided they have access to high quality, impartial information and advice. We don’t tell anyone how to lead their lives – we just believe everybody should have all the information they need to make their own decisions.

Young Minds — YoungMinds is the UK’s only national charity committed to improving the mental health and emotional well-being of all children and young people.

Well! If you’ve managed to read this far, I hope you are as impressed as I am. Thanks to the sites listed here (especially Brook), who listed each other, and that made organizing this list really quite easy! And so impressive! I hope to gather a list of similar resources for the US tomorrow. I’m afraid it won’t take near as much time, because our resources are so piddly!

About Karen Rayne

Dr. Karen Rayne has been supporting parents and families since 2007 when she received her PhD in Educational Psychology. A specialist in child wellbeing, Dr. Rayne has spent much of her career supporting parents, teachers, and other adults who care for children and teenagers.


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  2. […] Check it out! While looking through the blogosphere we stumbled on an interesting post today.Here’s a quick excerptBrook Advisory Centers — Putting Young People First — is the only national voluntary sector provider of free and confidential sexual health advice and services specifically for young people under 25. Brook is a registered charity, … […]

  3. […] provide actual services to teenagers (and younger children) like there is in England. (You can see my post from yesterday for more on the UK organizations.) So here’s what I found for US […]

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