A peer led scheme which aims to improve sexual health, relationships and wellbeing in Dundee will be showcased to MSPs from the Health and Sport Committee to inform their inquiry into unplanned teenage pregnancies.
MSPs from the Health and Sport Committee will visit The Corner – a health, information and peer led service for young people to learn about the ‘health buddies’ scheme. The MSPs will also visit the Young Mums Unit in Menzieshill High School and meet with the young people involved in the health buddies scheme.
Member of the Committee and North East MSP Nanette Milne said:
“Our inquiry is about looking to see if the action we are taking in Scotland is going to bring about a reduction in our rate of unplanned teenage pregnancy.
“It is invaluable for MSPs to see first-hand examples of innovative projects that aim to take a new approach to educating young people about sexual health.”
Member of the Committee and North East MSP Mark McDonald said:
“Whilst the rate of teenage pregnancy has experienced a decline over the past four years, this doesn’t mean that we should be complacent.
“Our Committee has already heard that teenage pregnancy is a complex issue but whilst there are no easy answers, we hope to be able to understand if there is any further action that needs to be taken to further reduce our rate of teenage pregnancy.”
Dundee City Council education convener Councillor Stewart Hunter said:
“MSPs from the committee will be shown work undertaken by the council and its partners.
“Young people will be able to tell the MSPs about their experiences in projects like the health buddies initiative.”
The visit will take place on Monday 28 January and involve two members of the Health and Sport Committee – Nanette Milne MSP and Mark McDonald MSP.
The aim of the ‘health buddies’ programme is to develop wellbeing and healthy relationships; raise awareness of personal development; and signpost to local/national services related to sexual health. S3 pupils undergo a 10 week training programme after which they deliver a series of Personal and Social Education lessons to S1 pupils. The Health Buddies scheme is currently being delivered in four secondary schools in Dundee: Morgan Academy, Menzieshill High School, Braeview Academy and Baldragon Academy.
The Health and Sport Committee launched their inquiry into teenage pregnancy in January.
The remit of the inquiry is:
- To assess whether the action being taken in Scotland is sufficient to bring about real and sustained reductions in unplanned teenage pregnancy; and
- To explore with witnesses what further action may be required to ensure that those young people at risk of pregnancy at a young age, or who have a baby when they are very young, are able to gain access to appropriate support and services.