Help avail­able in stess­ful time

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - End Of School -

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

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