Research from headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation shows only one in two young people feel confident about succeeding in their current or future career aspirations.
What were the findings of headspace’s study?
The headspace National Youth Mental Health Survey, which surveyed 3,107 young people, found only 54% of young people felt fairly or very confident in applying for a job. The same survey found only 52% of young people felt they have the necessary skills to succeed in their current or future career. However, 54% of young people also noted that developing their career was one of the top three things they are most looking forward to in their future.
headspace Head of Vocational Programs Carolyn Watts said: “Working and studying gives young people routine, a sense of purpose, connections with others and their community – all critical protective factors for mental health. It’s a vital step towards financial independence.”
“On the flip side, the choices and pressures that come with pursuing work and study goals can feel overwhelming, especially given the rapidly changing employment landscape.”
“This is important because mental health and wellbeing can affect how young people view the challenge of looking for work or further education options. That’s why headspace integrates Work and Study supports with our approach to mental health care. Sessions are tailored for individuals, private and confidential, and there’s absolutely no cost,” Carolyn Watts added.
What is the link between mental health and careers?
During March, for headspace Work and Study Month, the national youth mental health organisation raised awareness of the important link between careers, learning and mental health, particularly for young people pursuing the next chapter of their working life.
To coincide with Work and Study Month, headspace also launched a video series featuring young people who have reached out for career support, and the staff supporting them.
Young person Lachlan Hill, who engaged with headspace for Work and Study support said: “Like many people my age, I was a little insecure about what work and study options. Prior to connecting with headspace Work and Study, I didn’t even know what a cover letter was or what I should do in an interview. I’d never had that sort of practical experience before. My Work and Study Specialist guided me through writing resumes and applying for jobs.”
“headspace also secured me a career mentor, someone who I meet with regularly to talk about my career goals. I went from feeling unsure to feeling focused and motivated. It’s improved more than just my outlook on work and study – my experience with headspace has given me the confidence to meet new people and learn new things in all facets of my life.”
headspace centres and online staff can help with a range of career counselling services including looking for and applying for jobs, writing a resume and cover letter, preparing for a job interview, exploring study options, enrolling in study, navigating community support services such as the Centrelink system, understanding workplace rights, transitioning into a new job or course or balancing mental health and wellbeing with work or study.
Watch the Work and Study video series here. Young people aged 12 to 25, as well as their family and friends can visit headspace for support. Help is also available via phone and online counselling service, eheadspace, seven days a week between 9am–1am (AEST).
The number is 1800 650 890. And for those looking for someone to talk to immediately, Lifeline (13 11 14) and Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800) are available to talk 24/7.