With the conclusion of Year 12 exams, headspace reminds young people that their final mark should not define them and support is available to navigate this period of change.
The move from school to study or the workforce is a big transition and can impact a young person’s mental health and wellbeing. This time can bring up lots of questions about the future, pathways and next steps.
If work and study is beginning to affect a young person’s mental health it is important for them to know that they can access professional support through their GP, local headspace centre or eheadspace.
There are also services available to support young people in tackling their work or study aspirations and helping them with their preparation to enter employment or further study.
Carolyn Watts, headspace Vocational Programs Manager points out that this is an important time for young people to ask for help, both through their family and personal networks as well as through appropriate services.
“We can place a lot of pressure on school leavers to know what they are doing next, and expect them to have the skills to navigate this time. But this isn’t easy. Young people today need to develop the mindset and skills to move between a range of roles in a number of fields throughout their working life.”
“It’s important that we encourage our school leavers to look for opportunities that will allow them to build their employability skills and confidence, rather than focusing on traditional ideas of a dream job or job for life. We need to make it clear to young people that there is always a pathway to reach their goal.”
27% of young people who present to a headspace centre are not engaged in employment or training, highlighting an undeniable link between mental health and active engagement in work and study.
headspace has developed a number of vocational services that can provide young people with intensive support with a career specialist or mentor over the phone or online. These services recognise the added impacts of mental health on job seeking.
Crystal (23, Brisbane QLD) is a young person who has benefitted from accessing personalised career support through headspace and said she was struggling to find work for about a year and a half and it was really affecting her self-esteem and mental health.
“I wasn’t getting enough [support] and I wanted to get a different opinion. The relationship with my headspace mentor has been really up-lifting. They really challenged me to push my boundaries and it’s helped me regain my confidence,” she said.
“We’ve focused on resume building and working on work-ready skills for when I get a job”.
“I’ve created an industry standard resume, and I have gotten more confidence in that I knew I had someone who cared about my professional progress that I could check in with. The support I have received was unmatched. Working with a mentor is a more specialised program tailored to what you need, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. Every person who is struggling professionally needs an opportunity like this.”
Since working with headspace, Crystal has secured full time employment in an industry she likes and feels that having work is benefitting her both professionally and personally.