How headspace is helping young adults during COVID-19

headspace began in 2006 by providing tailored and holistic mental health support to 12 – 25-year-olds. With more than 75 percent of mental health issues developing before a person turns 25,  headspace focuses on early intervention, working with young people to provide support at a crucial time in their lives.

The organisation helps individuals get back on track, strengthening their ability to manage their mental health going forward. headspace tailors its services to the evolving and unique needs of younger generations, with young people playing an active role in designing, developing and evaluating different programs.

The impact

Young people, the group least vulnerable to Covid-19, suffered the most from its economic fallout. At the crucial moment of transition – from school to a first job, further study or the start of an apprenticeship – they found themselves suddenly adrift, experiencing high levels of mental distress.

According to the ABS, one in three workers aged 18-24 lost their job during COVID-19, a disproportionate amount in comparison to other age groups. While things have improved – with lockdowns ending in most states – the employment rate of young Australian adults remains just under 60%.

All systems go

When COVID-19 first hit, headspace moved quickly to create additional resources to support young people going through a tough time.

Moreover, they shifted their entire operations to remote working, with headspace centres deploying different modes of service delivery, including telehealth.

The reason

Studies have found that on top of the financial stress, losing a job can increase a person’s risk of health problems, such as depression and anxiety.

Simon Dodd, headspace National Clinical Advisor says, “Young people are at a critical stage of their lives. We know they feel pressure to be working towards their career or study goals, and when this is impacted, due to events out of their control like COVID-19, it can have a serious impact on their mental health.

“We want young people to know, that yes, this is a really tough time, but there are things you can be doing now to help you manage. Treating this period as a time to work on personal and career development can be a really beneficial way to continue pursuing work and study goals, even when we’re operating in an uncertain environment.”

Simon Dodd, headpsace

How you can help

While headspace receives funding from the government, they benefit hugely from any extra support, which aims to:

  • Promote at a national level the importance of young people seeking help for mental ill health.
  • Break down the stigma associated with mental ill health.
  • Ensure every young Australian knows there is help available.

From November 2020, CVCheck ran a social campaign dedicated to raising awareness and funds for youth mental health. We turned to leaders in the HR and talent acquisition space, as well as members of our own team, to ask for the advice that they followed for career development and mental wellbeing in the workplace. And we turned up some absolute gems…

Always tailor your resume to the job you are applying for. A ‘one size fits all’ approach is rarely successful. Even if you have little or no work experience, you have more skills than you realise. For example, playing a team sport demonstrates ability to cooperate with others and work towards a common goal. Think about all activities you are part of and list the skills relevant to the particular role that you are applying for.

Daniel Chilcott, General Manager of Learning and Development at Programmed

“Balancing it all can be tricky – it doesn’t matter what you have going on in your life! You could be a single parent, a young adult, or a career person. Whatever your story is, it’s important to look after you. This could be as simple as unwinding in front of the TV or going for a jog. Whatever makes you smile – do more of!”

Marlene Cassar, National Employment Services Account Manager at CVCheck

“We expect that what we have studied for will be our career for life… but it doesn’t always work out like that! Career planning needs to be flexible. Be open to all opportunities and make the most of everything you do. You never know where it will lead and what networks it will open up for you. And while it’s not always easy, stay positive as you impress people with your attitude and adaptability more than any other skills you bring to the role.”

Andrea Kirby, Director of Talent Table

The campaign wrapped up at the end of January 2021, following which CVCheck made their own donation to the cause.

If you’d like to join us in supporting headspace, find out how to donate here!

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