On the same page
There has never been a better time to be on the same page with the children and young people we care for and this is how we come to understand their emotional context. As digital communication grows, connecting and hearing from young people becomes easier. For most, it is their preferred way of staying in touch with us
A recent report stated,
As many as 1.5 million children and young people may need new or additional mental health support as a result of the pandemic. This figure could be even higher when considering unmet need.
Paula Lavis (2021) the Mental Health Network
Digital is what young people relate to
Young people experiencing mental health issues won’t always vocalise it. They’re less likely to share how they’re feeling in a direct way but more likely to open up indirectly. So why wait for direct communication that may never come? When offering support to young people, it is important to do it in a way that they can relate to. Digital is definitely what many young people do relate to and is the perfect way to appreciate their emotional context.
During the pandemic, here at mind Of My Own we implemented the Safety Link, which played a huge role in alerting our community when a young person in their service said that they felt, “Scared”, “Unsafe” or “Unhappy”, allowing workers to provide them with immediate support.
Understanding emotional context
This was strikingly illustrated by Nici Lafferty who told us how using the One app with a young person who had expressed suicidal ideations, helped her to understand his emotional context and provide him with therapeutic expression. Watch Nici’s powerful video below
We are in a digital shift and the time has come to move with it not against it. As we have discovered during the pandemic over Zoom quizzes and Teams calls, relationships can be built and maintained digitally. Just as we adapted to the ‘new normal’ of digital meetings, we can easily adapt to ways that young people want to communicate, in order to safeguard their wellbeing and mental health.
Take the digital challenge!
Think about a young person you know well – how many opportunities do you give them to open up to you? Offer them a digital option like Mind Of My Own, ask, encourage them to fill out “My Wellbeing”, “My Life” or “Share My Good News” and see what you can learn.