Teenagers & mental health provision


Conscious, professional conversations at the right time in a person’s life can make the difference between a breakdown or a breakthrough. Here, some of our Healthy Chat clients talk about the difference one or two sessions made to them.


Teenagers & mental health provision


“Young people who have suffered trauma such as abuse or bullying can very quickly be freed from the anxiety related to those past events”


As a practitioner and manager in youth work and employability services for more than 20 years I have been involved in providing support to many hundreds of young people with a wide range of support needs. In that time I have regularly seen young people who know what they want to achieve, and can articulate very well the actions they need to take, however this often does not convert into actions and positive outcomes.


In an attempt to provide more effective support to these young people various employers have introduced me to different counselling and therapy models including solution focussed approaches, person centred counselling, motivational interviewing, choice theory, reality therapy and Human Givens Counselling and Psychotherapy.


All of these models, with the exception of the Human Givens model, rely on the clients ability to transfer their desire for change and plans for their future into changes in behaviour. Very often this transfer fails to take place, resulting in clients bouncing around service providers without making the final steps into work. Issues such as trauma, anxiety, depression, addiction and panic attacks can often prevent clients moving forward into positive outcomes. Time and time again I have seen young people who cannot complete work experience placements, attend job interviews or mix positively with other people due to the anxiety associated with such issues.


Having worked with the Human Givens model myself, and alongside Jennifer Broadley to provide fast effective mental health support to young people, I have seen the positive results using this type of support can yield. Young people who have suffered trauma such as abuse or bullying can very quickly be freed from the anxiety related to those past events. Having received two or three hours of Human Givens Psychotherapy, most of these young people are able to move forward and engage with new opportunities, free from the anxieties of past events which have often held them back for years.


The cost benefits of using the Human Givens model of mental health support are huge. As the model can very quickly change the ‘emotional drivers’ for negative or unhelpful behaviours and responses such as social anxiety and addictions, the Human Givens model does not rely upon the clients’ ability to change their own behaviours or responses irrespective of the original emotional drivers remaining in place. This is regularly where other support fails. A young person with social anxiety may well know they want to work, and that doing some work experience is a step towards that, however asking them to achieve that while the emotional responses associated with meeting new people, going to new places or pushing themselves into unfamiliar settings remains unchanged is often an impossible ask. Using the Human Givens model can change this very quickly and effectively, allowing those young people to achieve outcomes and move forward in building the lives they want for themselves and no longer relying upon the benefits system to support them while they try unsuccessfully for years to achieve this without the right type of effective mental health support.


I know from experience that if this model was more widely available through schools, support charities, youth work and employability providers, as well as the NHS, the benefits to communities, individuals and the public purse would be huge.


Stuart Fyfe, Outcomes Manager – Scotland, The Princes Trust