In order to celebrate this World Mental Health Day and ‘the workplace’ theme, we would like to share some successes of the young people we are working with. Much of our work at U-Evolve focuses on pre-employability. This involves helping young people feel that they have the right and ability to access skilled jobs and achieve great results once they are employed or in work experience. The workplace is a broad theme and we see it as an opportunity to consider how we can encourage young people to access workplace opportunities, and how to help them through obstacles that might be preventing them from doing so.
We are now two months into our first project supporting young people to access their own resilience, confidence, and security in North Edinburgh.
Security, resilience, and confidence are three key pillars to thriving in the workplace
… but young people who come from difficult environments are not always afforded these fundamental inner resources. Working to bolster these core traits is our priority. Focusing on these helps young people move away from fear-based labels around mental health, towards understanding and maintaining their emotional and mental well-being. With this change in perspective, these three pillars become an empowering priority in their growth and development into adulthood.
The young people we work with wanted to speak about their progress on World Mental Health Day. They wanted to demonstrate how powerful an impact therapeutic coaching has on many aspects of their own development, including their ability to thrive in the workplace:
Zac wanted other young people to know that accepting help can turn your confidence and self-belief around. His first-hand experience at U-evolve has empowered him to be less critical of himself and develop his confidence. Self-belief can be a limiting self-fulfilling prophecy, especially when an individual holds the belief that they are not confident and thinks of this belief is a fact. Zac’s newfound confidence and self-esteem has allowed him to take the front seat of his own life and embrace greater responsibility for his results and behaviours. He is less defensive and open to having constructive supportive conversations. This has helped him to engage and invest in his work experience placement, where he has received ample praise from his employers. With inner belief comes the freedom to make decisions based on your own values and morals. Zac is continuing to learn, develop and thrive in his session with us.
Anthony has been learning about the mind-body connection to understand how he reacts to emotions. Being aware of what is happening in your mind and body allows an individual to recognise and reflect on behaviours that are not serving them well. In reflecting on the moments that cause him to become hostile or aggressive, Anthony has discovered that his response is usually to ‘fight’ rather than freeze or flee when faced with threatening stimuli. Awareness is the first step in changing behaviours which seem automatic or uncontrolled. Now that Anthony is aware of how he responds, he can apply positive coping strategies and tools to challenging situations.
Decades of attachment research suggests that young people carry models of past relationships into new engagements. Providing unjudgmental care can help correct these negative attachment bonds and allow young people to see new individuals through a lens that isn’t skeptical or wary of future disappointment. Anthony now trusts his ability to respond positively in challenging circumstances, and trusts himself in the uncertainty of new situations. His openness will allow him to act mature in the workplace and stride towards the options in front of him.
In what ways could confidence, security and resilience benefit you, the young people you know or even other people around you in the workplace?
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Disclaimer: names and ages of young people have been changed for data protection. All young people are aged 11-18.