What can you do to reach out to young people in need of help? How can you help them to open up and feel comfortable talking about sexuality and emotions? And how do you ensure that young people in rural areas can also access help, despite living far away from the nearest physical practice?
A good start is meeting with the young people in their own arena – online. After all, young people spend a large part of their lives online, socialising via chats, video calls, and social media. By being able to talk to a midwife or psychologist at a virtual youth clinic, they avoid the risk of meeting someone they know in the waiting room. They can also contact the health services on their own terms, where and when it suits them.
So how do you best set up a virtual youth clinic? Which flows and communication channels are most effective? Should you integrate the virtual youth clinic into the region’s solution, or do you want a separate entry point in order to better attract young persons? There are no set answers to these questions. Some prefer an online drop-in clinic where young persons can queue to get help. Others find that it works better when young persons make an appointment. The young persons also have individual preferences. Some are comfortable meeting via video, others prefer to communicate by text. So why not offer both? It is not easy knowing what the optimal choice is before you have tried it. So the best way to find the right solution for your particular operations is to get started and try things out, evaluating and changing them as needed.
We have helped many youth clinics to get started and we have collected many insights along the way.