One of the biggest determining factors in whether a kid makes it through tough times is how resilient they are. And resiliency can be developed. As youth workers we may not be able to remove kids from unhealthy situations but we can help them become people that are not consumed by them.
It’s not something any of us ever want to face with youth and yet statistics tell us 1 out of every 3 adults in Canada have been impacted by abuse. If a youth discloses an abuse to you, you are 1 of 3. Do you know what to do? Here are some first steps to get you started.
As youth workers we can get stuck in ‘rescuing’ the youth we work with and forget about empowering them to manage their lives. Iona Snair shares with us how we can go about teaching this vital life skill to youth.
We know the amount of care required by serious mental health concerns is too heavy to manage alone. Working together is better. Helping teens with mental health challenges requires the creation of or connection to a network of support for the
Often it’s not what we say but how we say it that makes a difference. Young people may be asking tough questions for a lot reasons and how we answer them can be an invitation to continued conversation. Check out the ideas on this helpsheet to help you be prepared for the tough questions.
There are many different reasons for youth to self-harm. If they feel numb, they can self- harm to feel alive. If they are angry, they can self harm to punish someone else. It can take many different forms – anything from cutting to unsafe sex. The most common reason people start self-harming is to reduce emotional distress. And in the immediate, it works. That’s why self-harm is so addicting.
WARNING: We don’t recommend kids going onto online forums and talking about self-harm. In our experience it seems to trigger the urge to self harm, teach them, increase their options of how to do it, and how to keep it secret longer. Having said that there are many online forums for kids to get plugged into. If a young person is involved in online forums anyway, it’s important that they plug into a positive forum focused on health and help. www.recoveryourlife.com provides some less negative and more healthy online exchanges.
There are some signs of disordered eating that you can pick up on if you are paying attention. Keep in mind that not every youth who complains about their weight has an eating disorder. Don’t go jumping at shadows. However if you see one of these red flags be sure to keep your eyes out for others.