How do you support trainees with mental health?

Many of the young people who come through our doors are faced with serious mental health challenges. As part of Mental Health Awareness Month, we asked the STREAT Youth Programs team to reflect on some quotes written by our trainees, and tell us some of the ways we support our young people’s wellbeing while they’re in STREAT’s youth programs. Watch the video, or read the transcript below, and find out more about our work-readiness programs for people aged 16 to 24.

“I think the really big thing that I realised was that STREAT gave me a vision of a future I could have and the knowledge that seeking help isn’t weak.”

– STREAT trainee, read by Yuta, Youth Programs Team, who reflected:

That’s really nice. I think at STREAT we try our best to focus on providing holistic support for a young
person, with things like their mental health. So connecting them to that support helps them to be work-ready or become work-ready, and to stay in work, which is really important, not just get work, but stay in work.

“So, no matter how sad or bad you know you feel, human connection is basically the key to happiness. They gave me so much that really elevated me from being really low to somewhere where I wanted to be.”,

,– STREAT trainee, read by Keely, Youth Programs Team, who reflected:

STREAT programs are centered around kindness and providing people with a sense of belonging, and safe and positive connections, which are really important in promoting mental well-being.

“I don’t feel judged about the stuff I talk to them about.”

– STREAT trainee, read by Rahul, Youth Programs Team, who reflected:

I think this is an important quote for the young people that come through our doors, and it’s important for us as workers as well, because probably the most important thing I’ve found working with young people, especially if there’s a lot going on in their heads, with most people there is, with all of us there is, but I think it’s always important to talk about it. And it can be really hard as an adult, even as a well-adjusted adult, to talk about it, as we all probably know, so I think it’s even harder when you’re a young person trying to figure out who you are, when you’re facing challenges and you’re not sure about things.

“If I needed a break, they gave me one. And if I needed support, they helped me.”

– STREAT trainee, read by Lucas, Youth Programs Team, who reflected:

That quote is really important to the work we do in the sense that when we’re going through each young person,  we are understanding their individual needs, and that all of that the work experience sites understand this as well.

“I like that when I came up with a particular issue, we could work through it and come up with possible solutions and also challenged my own ways of thinking. Sometimes my approach isn’t the best way of thinking so it was about different ways I could do things.”

– STREAT trainee, read by Jacinta, Youth Programs Team, who reflected:

The youth programs team come from a really diverse background and experiences, so that’s kind of evident in the way that we’re able to provide support the young people that we engage with. And we’re able to provide different solutions. Maybe one of us will give us solution, and then the next person will say something that really resonates with the young person.

“They always greeted me with a smile. They always asked how I was coping, and what I felt comfortable doing. They always worked with me.”

– STREAT trainee, read by Liam, Youth Programs Team, who reflected:

How STREAT helps young people, particularly with mental health challenges, is providing a sense of routine and a sense of structure to aid that sense of purpose. This helps trainees to come in to STREAT, and have a go at their work experience shifts, no matter what challenges they’re experiencing. We support young people with that sense of belonging and that sense of ownership over the work experiences shifts that they’re taking, and provide that challenge for them to reach great heights.

“Wow, it’s like I can’t stop smiling. Lovely. This place allows my nightmares to disappear and lets me dream.”

– STREAT trainee, read by Monique, Youth Programs Team, who reflected:

Trainees at STREAT rate their sense of belonging at 93% and that’s evident of the incredible work the STREAT youth programs do, from the moment a young person walks into our programs to the moment they walk out. It’s wrap-around support the whole way and it’s something that we’re super proud of.