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Your health and wellbeing as a care leaver

It's important to take care of your physical and mental health and wellbeing to ensure that you stay fit, healthy and happy.

What's a health passport and how do I get one?

You will receive a health passport before you leave care, this will include useful information including how to access your health history and details of your immunisations. You can check on what illnesses or treatments you've had, any allergies you may have, and whether you have had any vaccinations. It's also useful to know of any previous medications you've taken and you may need to know about your medical history for future employers or for travel insurance purposes, for example.

If you don't have your health passport, speak to your PA. It's your right to have a record of what you have been treated for in the past. And once you have it, read it and keep it safe.

How do I register with a GP?

Whether you are feeling physically or mentally unwell, contact your GP. If you're not registered with a GP then you can find local GPs on the NHS website. You will need to complete a registration form that you can get from the GP surgery. They are also likely to ask you to provide proof of identity and address as part of the registration process however you should not be refused registration or appointments if you do not have proof of address or identity to hand. If you're struggling to register, contact your PA for support.

If you move house, you'll have to tell your GP and sign up with another one that is local to you.

When should I see a dentist?

Don't forget to go to the dentist for a checkup at least once a year. You can find dentists online. It's important to be aware that many dentists accept both NHS and private patients however the number of NHS patients they accept may be limited and you may need to join a waiting list. In some cases, you may also be entitled to free NHS dental treatment.

When should I go to the opticians?

You should get your eyes checked by an opticians at least every two years. We've listed below some of the opticians you will find on the high street. If you are 16, 17 or 18 and in full time education then you're entitled to a free NHS eye test. You can also qualify for a free NHS eye test if you are in receipt of certain benefits. For more information visit the NHS website.

How do I access mental health support?

Your emotional health is just as important as your physical health. If you're feeling a bit low, these services can help.

  • CAMHS Care Leavers Service - A mental health service in Surrey. You need a referral to access this service so ask your PA for details
  • Heads Together - Youth counselling in East Surrey
  • Jigsaw4u - A charity that can support you through trauma, loss and bereavement
  • YoungMinds - A charity that can help to improve your emotional wellbeing
  • Samaritans - A charity providing emotional support to those in distress, struggling to cope or feeling suicidal
  • Mind A mental health charity

What about my sexual health?

If you are sexually active, make sure you look after your sexual health, for both you and your partner. Emergency contraception (the morning after pill) is available for free at some chemists and NHS walk in centres for those under the age of 25. If you are worried about sexually transmitted diseases or would like to talk about contraception, don't forget to head to your GP surgery and have a chat with your doctor. Healthy Surrey is also a great website which provides information on local sexual health clinics, STIs and contraception.

Where can I get help for problems with drugs and alcohol?

If you think you might have a problem with alcohol or drugs, it's important to get help sooner rather than later. There are a number of support services available to access and you can also talk to your GP and PA who will be able to find you help.