MESMAC North East offers confidential* support to young men who identify as Gay, Bisexual, and those young men who are unsure, in the Tyne and Wear and Northumberland area from the ages of 13 to 25 (*please see our confidentiality statement for full details).
Young people under the age of 16 can access support without the permission of a parent, however access to the youth group for under 16’s requires a consent form, however this can be filled out by a teacher, support worker or other relative (responsible adult). downloadable consent form HERE!
To access the rules for attending the MESMAC GAP Group, please click HERE!
At MESMAC you can access a range of services depending on your needs.
Some of the services we offer are;
GAP (Young gay and bisexual men’s group)
A fun, friendly and safe place to make friends, socialise and be yourself. Open to all young men aged 13 -25 who are (or think they may be) gay or bisexual. The group meets on a weekly basis, offering a safe space to discuss coming out, gay men and the law, HIV, safer sex, relationships. Sessions also include social activities and trips out. For more information call MESMAC North East on: 0191 233 1333.
One to one support
Young people can access one to one support sessions with either the young people’s worker, or any other member of MESMAC support staff. These sessions can be used as regular support session time and can be used as part of a development and support plan. The support sessions usually last between 45 minutes to an hour and are usually held at our office in Newcastle, however we are able to sometimes offer support in alternative places such as school or college, if you would prefer this then please discuss this with the worker when booking the support session so that arrangements can be made.
You can talk in a confidential, non-judgemental environment and with the worker can have the opportunity to offload stresses, pressures and any issues and explore possible solutions and plans. You can either attend these sessions on your own, or if you would prefer can bring along a friend, family member, or support worker to support you, if you would prefer this please let a member of staff know when booking your session.
If you wish to book a support session then please visit our contact us page for more information.
Telephone and Drop in Service
We offer a confidential telephone information and support line between 9.30am -5pm Monday to Friday. You can telephone to speak to a worker in confidence about issues you might be facing, to ask for information and guidance, or to book appointments.
We also have a drop in service between 10am-5pm on Thursdays for general support.
You can use this time to come in and speak to the member of staff on duty in confidence about any issues you are facing, or to speak about and concerns you have. You can also use these sessions to gather information on things such as the gay scene (both in Newcastle and the rest of the world), information about upcoming local events. The support sessions usually last between 45 minutes to an hour and are held at our office in Newcastle. You can either attend these sessions on your own, or if you would prefer can bring along a friend, family member, or support worker to support you, please contact us to arrange a support session.
Counselling services (aged 14 and above)
The counselling team work in a way that accepts, understands and respects you as you share your thoughts and feelings.
Counselling can offer:
- Skilled help and support in times of crisis.
- Help with issues, which can affect your overall well-being, both physically and emotionally, such as depression, anxiety and stress.
Sometimes, difficulties you have in adult life can be the result of past, painful experiences, which have been left unresolved.
These can include;
- Things that happened to you when you were a child.
- Physical, emotional and sexual abuse.
- Bereavement or other traumas.
For more information on our counselling service either visit the counselling section of our website, or contact us on 0191 233 1333 and speak to a member of staff.
Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea screening
We can offer under 25’s a free Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea test!!
This can either be done by a postal testing kit , or by doing the test on site in MESMAC, this is done exactly the same way as the postal testing kit but we will take your completed form and sample to the local sexual health clinic for you.
The postal testing kit means that the test can be done in the privacy of your home. There are instructions with the kit and individuals can choose how we contact them with their results, most people prefer us to send a simple text message.
It is then put in the freepost envelope provided. The kits fit into a standard post box and goes straight to the laboratory.
A health adviser will contact you by your chosen method of contact in 10 – 14 days to inform you if the results are negative or positive.
1-hour HIV testing (aged 16 and above)
A one-hour HIV testing service open to gay and bisexual men in the North East is available at the MESMAC office in Newcastle .
The test is a simple finger prick test with pre and post test discussion and results within the hour.
The sessions are available every Tuesday between 5-6.30pm or by appointment Monday to Thursday.
Access to sexual health information
You can access sexual health information and support from MESMAC.
If you are aged under 16 you will be ‘Fraser assessed’ by the youth worker to ensure that the information presented to the you is age appropriate, and accessible. Once this assessment is completed you will be able to access confidential sessions with the staff focussing on topics including; Sexual health information, Safer sex, Delay choices, Deciding what’s right for you, and also access our free condoms (you can also use your c-card at MESMAC).
We are also a sign posting agency for young people into other services and will support young people to engage with other youth services within the city and its surrounding areas. We can direct refer to Streetwise, Sexual Health Services and Outpost Housing Project.
MESMAC (and SHINE) are proud to have been awarded ‘Your Welcome’ status, this means that we are a welcoming service to all people but in particular young people.
We were awarded the Your Welcome status by local NHS representatives who work for the Department of Health.
All young people are entitled to appropriate health services. The You’re Welcome quality criteria sets out principals to support health service providers to improve their services and be more young people friendly. The quality criteria cover ten areas:
3. Confidentiality and consent
5. Staff training, skills, attitudes and values
6. Joined-up working
7. Monitoring and evaluation, and involvement of young people
8. Health issues for young people
9. Sexual and reproductive health services
10. Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)
• Involve young people in the evaluation of the service
• Verification of the ‘Meets You’re Welcome’ self assessment
• Award of the You’re Welcome quality mark by Dept of Health.