For press enquiries, please email Louise Orpin at firstname.lastname@example.org
For press enquiries, please email Louise Orpin at email@example.com
By Charlotte Fantelli
I suppose it would not come as a great surprise to most of us if were to hear that the festive season, with it's parties, drinking, frolicking and fun, is also the time of year that sees teenagers most at risk of pregnancy and STI's.
Our feature looking at abortion reveals the fact that the new year through to March is the busiest time for abortion clinics in the UK, with the post Christmas realisation that unprotected sex does not often come with a simple happy ending!
But what if there were better awareness amongst teens? Better resources and a service that would give teenagers the opportunity to make informed choices before the moment of passion came upon them?
Many teenagers are fearful of asking questions, sex education is very inadequate and in this 'do now, think later' society we live in, without information our teenagers face a very adult world much ill-informed. However, GoGetInfo, a service we reported the launch of earlier this year, is giving teenagers instant access 24/7 to confidential help and advice via their mobile phones.
Teens mobile phones are a big part of their life, it is a medium for information delivery that they understand and like. GoGetInfo, gives them instant access to confidential help and advice on topics such how to use a condom and where to get emergency contraception. They even have a service that answer's the age old teenage dilemma 'am I normal?'
Louise Orpin from GoGetInfo tells Mental Healthy "from our focus groups when developing the service, young people told us they often worried about being "normal" but were too embarrassed to discuss their concerns. We therefore aren't surprised that this has been the most popular topic GoGetInfo offers. Everyone develops differently, and at some point in out lives, we all worry about the way our bodies look and how we feel. The information provided covers some of the common worries teenagers may have about spots, whether they are too fat or too thin, too tall or too short. Some girls may worry about their breast size and shape, while some boys worry about their penis size and shape."
The service also gives some interesting insight into what teens are looking for, GoGetInfo’s advanced reporting system allows for detailed data analysis and it found that in one week alone:
The service, available on all data enabled phones, not just smart phones, is quick, easy and affordable with a wealth of information on each subject available for just 50p (plus standard data charges), teenagers simply text the area they are concerned about to 60110. For example, by texting 'condom', STI, 'normal’ or ‘pregnant’, seconds later they will receive a link which will take them to a package of practical advice on the subject presented as text, video and images. Crucially, it is delivered in an age-appropriate format and has been produced in consultation with leading health experts (such as FPA and Brook), youth charities (including YouthNet) and the Department of Health. Read more >>>
Many teens already rely on their mobiles for social networking, downloading music and playing games. But more and more are now using them to access information, too.*
GoGetInfo is a pioneering mobile information service for young people that’s responding to this need.
For the first time, sending a single text to a dedicated number will give them instant access 24/7 to confidential help and advice on one of the top 10 issues they’re likely to face, including:
GoGetInfo works by delivering a package of practical text content, images and video clips to mobiles using WAP technology. Its makers have worked with technology partner O2 for two years in research and development.
All the topics have been extensively researched, with content provided, or checked and approved, by experts at the sexual health charities FPA and Brook and leading youth charities including YouthNet. GoGetInfo has also consulted with the Department of Health and there’s been feedback and detailed direction given by teenagers via focus groups.
Louise Orpin, GoGetInfo director and founder of Sense Interactive, says: ‘If young people are in a difficult situation with no one else to turn to, it makes sense to be able to access vital info from their mobile. They’ve told us they desperately need a service like this.’
‘We know they’re more likely to take vital information on board if it's in a format they like, so are hoping GoGetInfo could help reduce teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and help with issues such as abuse, self-harm and bullying.’
‘It’s especially important given that sex and relationships education is no longer to be made statutory in England.’
GoGetInfo is also vital because:
The downloads are intended for young people of 12 and over. At the beginning of each download, users are asked to click on their age range before they can move on to the content: 12-13; 14-15; 16-18; or 18+.
"Young people want reliable information about sexual health from sources they can trust, and a responsible download service like this one is a very acceptable way to provide it. Mums, dads and teachers can also use the service themselves to find out what information’s available to teenagers about these issues."
"Ideally, young people and parents are able to talk to each other about sex, contraception and STIs. But they often feel too embarrassed or awkward. These unique downloads are a great way for teenagers to get accurate advice - and give a good starting point for discussion."
"We’re delighted to be a part of this innovative new mobile service, so young people get support whenever and wherever they need it. Through GoGetInfo, thousands of young people will have another means of accessing the excellent self-harm support available on our online guide to life, TheSite.org.’"
"Teenagers use mobile phones all the time, yet this kind of information is usually only found in textbooks or leaflets. By using our technology we can bring vital information to today’s younger people wherever they are, and in line with their communication habits. This gives both choice and flexibility to the teenager to consume information on the move, when they want it.’"
For more info, call Louise Orpin on 07980 892993 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
See www.gogetinfo.com, search for ‘GoGetInfo’ on Facebook or follow us on twitter.com/gogetinfoUK. To see how the downloads work, see the demo at www.gogetinfo.com or text any of the keywords below to 60110.
Bullying (text Bully to 60110); Abuse (text Abuse to 60110); Self-harm (text Self harm to 60110); Emergency contraception (text EC to 60110); Contraception (text Contraception to 60110); Condom use (text Condom to 60110); STIs (text STI to 60110); I think I'm pregnant (text Pregnant to 60110); Pressure to have sex (text Pressure to 60110); and Am I normal? (text Normal to 60110).
Each download costs 50p (plus standard data charges for videos). Local authorities or schools can buy ‘bundles’ to give away to teenagers in their area, and the service can be localised.
GoGetInfo and Sense Interactive are part of the Coles McConnell Ltd group. Sense Interactive has many years experience producing educational CDs on sex and relationships, education and personal, social and health education for children, teenangers, parents, carers and professionals.
(Both happy to be named and photographed, pics available on request)
"Sex education at my school isn’t great. Ask any teenager and they’ll probably say the same. The information’s presented in a boring way, and topics that really matter - like what happens if a condom splits or you get pregnant - aren’t always explained properly.
That’s why young people need these GoGetInfo downloads. The whole format’s far more teen-friendly and the language is easy to digest.
Recently a friend of mine got drunk at a party and had unprotected sex. When she’d sobered up the next day she was terrified as she didn’t know what to do. In the end, she went to her GP for the morning after pill, but it was pretty much guesswork. Having the “Emergency contraception” download would have really helped her."
"I’m lucky as I can talk to my mum about anything, but not all my friends can. Some have awkward relationships with their parents, and feel embarrassed to talk about personal issues. Equally, some parents find it hard to have “the talk”.
Lots of girls worry that their boobs aren’t growing properly, or they’re not like everyone else. The “Am I normal?” download will be handy because not everyone wants to talk to their friends about really intimate things.
We’re getting more and more information from our phones rather than from computers so the downloads are handy to have. And as they’re written by experts we know we can trust them. Having this sort of trusted info on our mobile means we can refer back to it again and again when we need it."
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* The Nielsen Company study October 2010 showed that American 13-17-year-olds used four times as much mobile data as last year:http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/u-s-teen-mobile-report-calling-yesterday-texting-today-using-apps-tomorrow
With kind permission from Uncovered magazine
With kind permission from At Home magazine