Avatar
Hello
Guest
Log In or Sign Up
To Tackle Our Mental Health Crisis, Career Guidance Could be Surprisingly Important

Being unemployed tends to be bad for your mental health.

We know this from long-term studies which show that people’s mental health often deteriorates when they become unemployed and can improve when they get a new job. It can be a vicious circle, since people with mental health difficulties can also struggle to get hired.

When you don’t have a job, it tends to reduce your access to things that nourish mental well-being: a sense of identity, a sense of purpose, structure to the day, contact with other people and opportunities to use skills. Not to mention money, which is a big source of anxiety if you don’t have a decent supply coming in.

Young people are particularly at risk here, since they tend to be among the hardest hit when the labour market takes a dive. Indeed, it’s hard enough for them to find work when the employment market is buoyant. And this group have more than their fair share of other threats to their mental well-being. They have to deal with the worst of social media, early heartbreaks and combustible friendships. Many will be experimenting with drink and drugs, getting into conflicts with their parents and struggling to have enough money to stand on their own two feet.

In the UK, for example, around one in six people aged 17-19 have some kind of mental health condition, and the incidence among young people more generally has been steadily climbing. In the US, the suicide rate among 18- to 19-year-olds is up 56% in a decade.

Living with the scars

While many big categories of illness, such as cancers or heart problems, tend to present in mid to late adulthood, mental health conditions often appear when people are teenagers or in their early 20s. In many cases, they recur, and the consequences can multiply over someone’s lifetime.

Though most young people experience only passing phases of unemployment, for those who experience longer periods, there is emerging evidence that it can lead to what has been described as “scarring”. They are more likely to struggle to hold down jobs throughout their lives, for instance, and to earn less. There is also recent evidence from Sweden and the US of health effects well into mid-adulthood. From a broader perspective, this is a serious problem for the economy. It means lost productivity, lower tax revenues, and higher sickness-related benefits and medical/social care costs.

If this makes it obvious that we should do whatever we can to minimise youth unemployment, it’s easier said than done. This is a complicated problem that doesn’t lend itself to quick fixes. Yet one area that deserves much more attention is career guidance. People can sometimes be sceptical about its value, based on vague recollections of adolescent conversations with a career adviser that didn’t seem to make much difference to them.

Yet we mustn’t let this blind us to the potential. Like any kind of one-to-one help, career guidance provides a safe space to share worries and concerns. It helps people to review and recognise their strengths, injects hope by giving them a sense of their possible study and work options, and motivates and equips them to take action. Career guidance can help you figure out who you are, what your goals are, and how to get there – and this kind of clarity can act as a buffer against stress and uncertainty.

Above all, career guidance can prevent unemployment. It enables people to access life opportunities in work and education, and opens up all the benefits of participation. Some government initiatives put pressure on unemployed people to take the first available job, irrespective of its quality or relevance to their lives. But career guidance is about long-term planning based on what motivates an individual. Done well, it sets people on a path that can sustain them in the long term.

Room for improvement

The quality of career guidance varies considerably from country to country. Yet a recent OECD study found common problems around the world, including insufficient resources, inadequately prepared staff, and poorer services for students from disadvantaged areas. The study pointed to a number of problems in England, with students demanding “more and better” advice, while concluding that the service in Scotland was “well developed and comprehensive”.

Across the board, there’s much room for improvement. We need to recognise the role that career guidance can play as a public health intervention. It can potentially reach all young people through the school system, and has good access to the most vulnerable groups. It might help build resilience if combined with teaching young people important life skills, such as career management and stress management.

Career guidance may feel far removed from health, but we need to understand that illness has socioeconomic causes, and at least to some extent, socioeconomic remedies. I find that professionals in this field are slowly waking up to the mental health needs of their client base, but this has yet to filter through to many of those in charge of policy. They need to get the message that properly resourced and consistently delivered career services have the power to improve our mental health – both now and for years into the future.

Embracing Chaos Theory of Careers
June 5, 2019
0

The following article is by Christopher Mesaros

The best prognosticators of our time are struggling to predict career trends ten years from now, let alone offer concrete visions of the workforce when all of Gen Z comes of age.

The most helpful guesses point to freelance workers and positions that do not yet exist, which offers little clarity. It should not be surprising that college students could feel anxiety about having to define their professional identity for the rest of their lives as they are being told they could routinely live to age 120.

Chaos Theory of Careers (CTC; Bright & Prior, 2012) is a different approach to helping clients construct their identity and map out a potential path. Rather than insist that the world looks like the linear, trait-and-factor world of post-WWII America, CTC expects uncertainty. It is a better match for the reality that the students of today will face when they make their transitions. But how can future career counselors prepare clients for such a world? Prominent proponents of CTC recommend that counselors apply the following: Read more

The Role of the Trainer Assessor for Apprenticeships
March 28, 2019
0

If you currently deliver apprenticeship training as a trainer/assessor, your role is likely to be going through considerable change – writes Chris Cherry, Senior Associate, Strategic Development Network (SDN)

In the new world of apprenticeship standards, trainer / assessors need to:

  • Design and conduct the training differently
  • Integrate new assessment methods
  • integrate the concept of grading within the training, and
  • Prepare apprentices to meet the gateway and undertake end-point assessment.

This change is a huge amount to process for trainer / assessors.

So, to help, we’ve set out 15 quick questions to ask yourself to test whether you’re ‘standards ready’

15 quick check questions before embarking on the new trainer / assessor role Read more

Presentations for Career Professionals Interested in Mental Health
March 22, 2019
0

Mental health has become a crucial consideration for career development professionals, whether examining how it relates to their clients’ career development or their own well-being. Following are links to the slides from several presentations at CERIC’s 2019 Cannexus conference that examined the topic from various angles.

CERIC

CERIC is a charitable organization that advances education and research in career counselling and career development, in order to increase the economic and social well-being of Canadians.

Linking Improved Career Development & Mental Health Together – Clarence DeSchiffart

In reviewing mental health and career development concepts, it appears the principles are striving for the same outcome – helping someone to a better and happier life. This session offered a detailed examination and comparison of specific core mental health and career development principles. Read more

8 Psychology-Backed TED Talks That’ll Help You Understand Why You Do What You Do
February 27, 2019
0
8 TED Talks to Understand Your Co-workers and You
Assisting Adults with Autism
October 17, 2018
0

Many people who live on the autism spectrum are under- or unemployed, but with some support, this differently talented group can offer a lot to the workforce By Sarah Taylor and Dr Anna-Lisa CiccocioppImage result for Autism

Autism Spectrum Disorder is commonly thought of as a childhood condition but in fact, ASD is a life-long neurological difference. Children will rarely lose the diagnosis as they get older, and an increasing number of individuals are being diagnosed as adults.

Statistics from the U.S.-based Center for Disease Control in 2016 indicate that as many as one in 68 children were diagnosed, and statistical trends across various sources suggest that the number of individuals identified on the spectrum is growing considerably.
What is autism? The diagnostic criteria according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) include persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts, as manifested by deficits in social-emotional reciprocity, non-verbal communicative behaviours used for social interaction, and in developing, maintaining and understanding relationships. Autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning that there is a wide degree of variation in the way it affects people, but they have a shared core of traits. The level of (dis)ability and the combination of traits varies tremendously from person to person. In fact, two people with the same diagnosis may have very different behaviours, abilities and life outcomes.
The University of Exeter Career Mentor Scheme
August 3, 2018
0

The University of Exeter is expanding its Career Mentor Scheme and is seeking new career mentors from the region and further afield.

Now in its 10th year, the Career Mentor Scheme is a popular employability programme which matches current students or graduates with experienced professionals, for one-to-one support, sector insight and advice for up to 6 months.

They have mentors from a range of different sectors, based both across the UK and internationally, who volunteer to mentor a student interested in pursuing a similar career in the future.

If you would like to be part of the next scheme, starting in November 2018 and running through until April 2019, please complete the online mentor application form (it takes approximately 15mins) by the closing date: Friday 24th August 2018.

Contact Sarah, Rebecca or Jo from the Career Mentoring Team directly on 01392 722034 or at careermentorscheme@exeter.ac.uk

Using FE Data in Careers Decision Making (Free Webinar for CDI Members)
July 24, 2018
0

Tuesday 31st July1:30 pm 

The DfE provides a number of tools and data sets related to FE quality that can help inform decisions by learners on what programme of study they may should follow, and which provider they may choose. This webinar aims to support Careers Advisers identify and use some of these tools and data sets and explain how they can be used.

The discussion will focus upon the DfE’s Outcome Based Success Measures (the destinations and earnings of adult learners and apprenticeships) but it will also include an outline of FE Choices, Qualification Achievement Tables and the Compare School and Colleges Website.

This webinar, presented by Richard Watson of the Policy (Performance and Quality), Quality, College Improvement and SponsorshipTeam, Careers and Further Education Group, will be of interest to all career advisers and career leaders working in the FE sector in England.

This event is free for CDI members and £40 for non-members.

Blended Learning Essentials: Digitally-Enriched Apprenticeships
June 19, 2018
0

A CPD course for apprenticeship providers looking to enhance their courses with digital technology for the modern workplace.

Apprenticeships are changing. The UK Government has introduced new standards to ensure apprentices are receiving quality training. Discover how using digital technology can enrich your apprentices’ experience and open up opportunities for your organisation.

You’ll learn how to weave in digital resources across the whole apprentice journey from preparation to end-point assessment. You’ll navigate through the Jisc Apprenticeship Toolkit stages of Preparation, Planning, Delivery and Assessment which will help you develop your own designs for a digitally-enriched apprenticeship programme.

What topics will you cover?

  • Preparation: staff and organisational readiness
  • Planning the apprentice journey
  • Planning the apprentice programme to support delivery
  • Digital for developing learner support
  • Digital for supporting evidence collection
  • End-point assessment (EPA)

Read more

The New Role for the Career Guidance Professional By Tristram Hooley
June 12, 2018
0

Tristram is at the JobbAcktiv conference on career competencies in Oslo, Norway.

He is planning to talk about the need to move from a matching paradigm focused around ‘choosing’ to an active, learning-focused paradigm.

This is what he is planning to cover

From Career Choosing to Career Learning

From career choosing to career learning