Emily's Story

Emily's Story

Emily was a teenager with complex issues, using cannabis daily, class-A drugs occasionally and drinking alcohol every weekend - sometimes during the week also. Her behaviour was both chaotic and risky, resulting in several safeguarding referrals to DHI’s Project 28 team, who work with young people.

Emily had been reported getting into cars with men whilst drinking alcohol and had had unprotected sex with her boyfriend. For a long time, Emily refused support to improve her sexual health and declined several appointments at the sexual health clinic. Gradually, the Project 28 team were able to build a positive rapport with Emily through regular weekly appointments and by relating to her in an understanding and non-judgemental way.

At one such appointment, Emily opened up and said she was worried that she might be pregnant. The Project 28 team were able to support Emily in obtaining a pregnancy test, which turned out to be negative. Through conversations, Emily came to understand the benefits of having additional contraception and asked for an appointment with the sexual health clinic to be arranged. The Project 28 team were able to negotiate this appointment in under two weeks, despite normally long waiting times of a month or more. Emily had the contraceptive injection, a full STI screen and Project 28 registered her for a C-Card (free condoms for young people, including a condom demonstration).

Emily said she had not felt able to speak to anyone previously, but trusted her Project 28 contact. Her contact was then able to talk to her about healthy relationships and safe sex. As a result, Emily has greater self-respect and is able to make safer choices, notably in regard to relationships and alcohol use.

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