Help available in stessful time
National youth mental-health foundation headspace has reminded secondary school graduates that their final mark at the end of year-12 far from defines them.
The organisation has also stressed that support was readily available to help young people navigate through a period of change.
Headspace, which has a centre in Hamilton Street in Horsham, made the statement as students received their Australian Tertiary Admission Ranking, or ATAR scores.
Headspace vocational programs manager Carolyn Watts said the move from school to study or the workforce was a big transition and could impact on a young person’s mental health and wellbeing.
She said the move could bring up many 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 they can access professional support through their GP, local headspace centre, or online and telephone and counselling service eheadspace,” she said.
“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.”
Ms Watts said ending secondary school was 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,” she said.
“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.”
Headspace Horsham manager Liz Rowe encouraged young people trying to deal with anxiety to use headspace resources such as as online Instagram feed #Gramfama.
“The incentive aims to help share experiences and practical advice for people dealing with anxiety or stress on receiving their end-of-school results,” she said.
“It encourages students to come together and support each other on Instagram.”
The Instagram feed features prominent Australians joining in conversations.
Ms Rowe said headspace Horsham was open to any young person in the region experiencing difficulties.
“If young people are feeling a bit down and not happy about results, don’t hesitate in calling or using our services,” she said.
Figures show that 27 percent of young people who present to a headspace centre are not engaged in employment or training, highlighting a link between mental health and active engagement in work and study.
Headspace has developed 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.
“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” – Carolyn Watts