Adolescence is a time of significant life transitions, physical changes, emotional and intellectual demands as well as the added pressures of being a modern-day teenager (e.g. pressures of social media).
At the practice we encourage and promote young people’s right to confidentiality. Whether it’s a concern over skin issues, weight, bullying, stress, family problems, contraceptive advice, safe sex, sexual identity, alcohol or drugs, we are here to help.
Where appropriate, we encourage parents who want to come to the GP with their teenager to share information that they feel is important and then wait outside, so the young adult can develop a direct and trusting relationship with their GP.
Adolescence is a crucial period for developing social and emotional habits important for mental well-being. These include adopting healthy sleep patterns; exercising regularly; developing coping, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills; and learning to manage emotions. Protective and supportive environments in the family, at school and in the wider community are important. If you are struggling with any of these things, please make an appointment with your GP and we will see how we can help.
Common issues in adolescence:
Mental health - anxiety and depression are common in adolescents but are also very treatable. Reach out to us today if you are struggling with your mental health.
Weight related issues - Anorexia and Bulimia are common problems throughout adolescence. If you think that you have a problem, please make an appointment with one of the GPs to discuss options for treatment.
Sexual health - There are many questions that are difficult to ask parents or peers. We are here to help advise and help in our confidential service. We also provide a full sexual health service including screening for STIs.
Contraception - Once you are sexually active you are at risk of pregnancy. We provide a comprehensive contraceptive service. We are available for advice and management of any contraception related issues.
Information for Parents
As well as the physical development that occurs during this time, adolescents are also developing emotionally and intellectually, as they seek their independence and individual identity. The changes that occur during this time can manifest in behaviours that can be challenging and hard to understand, leaving parents feeling unsure as to what is part and parcel of typical adolescent behaviour and what may cause more concern. Sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference.
If you are concerned that your child may be struggling with any of the issues above or any other issue, we recommend that you and your child speak to a GP and decide which approach to treatment is best for him or her, if necessary.
Useful Links & Resources
For more information see our other pages on:
Healthier Living - advice on how to improve your health, manage your weight, quit smoking or reduce your alcohol intake.
NHS - find advice and support about mental health for children, teenagers, students and parents.
Spunout.ie - is a web based initiative for young people aged 17-24. It provides young people with access to information, support and resources to lead happy, healthy and fulfilled lives. The health and lifestyle section of the website provides young people with information on a wide range of health and personal issues as well as signposting services that young people may need to access to get advice assistance and support.
Barnardos - has information and resources for both teenagers and parents. The resources for teenagers include useful links to other supports.
Jigsaw - is a national organisation aimed at providing guidance and support for young people who are going through a difficult or distressing time. They also provide advice and guidance for anyone who is concerned about a young person in their life. To understand how depression and other mental health issues can manifest in adolescence, click here for more information from Jigsaw.
Nutrition for Teens - information and education on healthy eating for growing teens.
This content of this page (and links to other sites) is for general information purposes only and does not substitute medical advice. While we endeavour to keep this website up-to-date, errors may occur. We advise all patients to discuss their health concerns with their GP. If you would like to suggest amendments or highlight new information that could be useful to others please don’t hesitate to get in touch.