Parents and Carers
...face a large number of challenges and pressures throughout their teenage years.
Adolescence is a time when young people experience rapid change to their bodies, emotions and their developing brains, during which many people choose to smoke, drink, take drugs and have sex for the first time.
During the transition from child to adulthood, adolescents establish patterns of behaviour and make lifestyle choices that affect both their current and future health. For example, five of the ten most common risk factors in adult disease are formed during adolescence. Someone who starts smoking aged 15 is three times more likely to die from a smoking–related cancer than someone who has smoked from their mid-20s. Early drug or alcohol use amongst young people is associated with significantly increased risk of drug or alcohol dependency in later life.
While rates of smoking, drinking, using illegal drugs and teenage pregnancy have been declining in recent years, teenage pregnancy rates continue to be high and the UK also has one of the highest alcohol abuse rates in 11 to 15-year-olds.
Recently there have also been some worrying trends in young people’s mental wellbeing (e.g. UK young people are unhappiest at school, feel intense pressure and surveys suggest that between 8% and 15% of young people may self-harm. Emotional problems have significant implications for every aspect of young people’s lives including their ability to do well at school, make and keep friends, and have good family relationships. The stress and pressure of the tween/teenage years are through the media and by the 24/7 nature of the on-line world.
Savvy Kernow aims to...
Savvy aims to support young people to delay and prevent them engaging in exploratory behaviours (smoking, drinking alcohol, substance misuse and risky sexual practices) and to improve their mental health and wellbeing by building their emotional resilience. By helping them to ‘Be Savvy’ we want to help young people prepare for, and cope with, the pressures of being a teenager by building their emotional resilience and equipping them with skills to make better decisions to look after both their physical and mental health and wellbeing (including smoking, drinking alcohol, substance misuse, and engaging in risky sexual practices).
We aim to do this by supporting a network of Quality Assured Young People Friendly Savvy services throughout Cornwall and Isles of Scilly; using this website to create a safe place for young people to find reliable local information and advice and; to encourage and facilitate positive conversations about health between peers and between parents and their children and building life skills in our young target audience.
More about Savvy Kernow
We have two main parts to the programme:
Young People Friendly Services
1. We quality assure services in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly against a rigorous set of quality standards to ensure they are offering a Young Person Friendly service whether they are a GP service, youth provision, school nurse drop-in clinic or specialist mental health service.
We also work closely with the C-Card (condom card) programme to ensure all C-Card services gain Savvy status and encourage more Savvy services offer C-Card where appropriate.
2. This website where we list all of the Young People Friendly Services in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly so young people (and their parents and carers) can find a service near them or know if their local service is a 'Savvy Service'.
The website also addresses some of the key issues and concerns that young people face and provides some basic advice and information (information that we hope parents and carers will find helpful too...)
But Savvy is also intended to be a place where young people can find out what's happening locally and events/activities they can get involved in from physical activity opportunities to volunteering... there'll be competitions, quizzes and fun stuff too.
The site is a work in progress and we'll be adding more and more content as we grow and develop - much of it driven by and produced by young people themselves. And we'd love you to get involved too...keep coming back to see what's new and how you can get involved...
In the meantime contact us if you would like to know more.