Young people aged 14 to 25 can now book an appointment on the Clic Santé website for the youth clinic, which takes place every Thursday at the CLSC in Huntingdon and Saint-Chrysostome from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The youth clinics have been offered for some time at the local CLSCs, but until now it was not possible to make an appointment online. Fiona Beattie, a nurse clinician working with youth programs in the Haut-Saint-Laurent as part of the Direction des programmes Jeunesse et des Activités de santé publique (DPJASP) with the Centre de santé et de services sociaux de la Montérégie-Ouest (CISSSMO), says the hope is this change will render the clinic more accessible.
The services offered at the youth clinic are confidential and include prescriptions for contraception, pregnancy tests with counselling, emergency contraception, and screening and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases and blood-borne infections. Help and support for other issues that may be affecting the lives of young people are also available, including relationships with friends or parents, questions about sexuality, mental health, or thoughts of suicide.
The services are offered free of charge and are available at all the CLSCs in the CISSSMO. Individuals under the age of 14 may also be seen at the youth clinic; however, parental consent is required to receive any of the services.
Beattie says the existence of the youth clinic is not widely known, and she is concerned that young people may return home for the summer and not know where to go to receive such services.