Karen Lomas
September 13, 2016

Clients with Mental Health Issues

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Clients with mental health issues are not receiving good quality careers support, according to a study published by the Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC).

Canada is seen to have some of the best standards in careers coaching and the Australian framework for career services draws upon the work that is being done in the USA, Canada and the United Kingdom.

As a private careers coach to young people between the ages of 15 and 25 I am conscious of the prevalence of youth mental health issues in Australia. The statistics are troubling. According to the Australian Federal Government Department of Health 14 per cent of children and adolescents in Australia have mental health problems.

And according to the CERIC research team, Canadian careers professionals feel that they do not possess the knowledge or skills to support mental health clients.

One of the CERIC recommendations is to encourage better coordination between mental health and career services.

Whilst it is a key obligation for accredited Australian careers professionals to update their training annually, I do feel that there is much to be done here too, in order to provide support to children and adolescents who are suffering for mental health issues.

So, to highlight my unique professional service, I:

  • hold a Professional Certificate of Adolescent Counseling from Monash University’s Faculty of Education.
  • pride myself in having established connections with child and adolescent health professionals in my area.
  • receive referrals from medical professionals once they see that a young client is ready to re-engage in study or employment activities.
  • am trained to recognise the limits of my expertise and know when to refer on to a mental health specialist.
  • and, finally, I have recently been accepted into the Monash University Master of Counselling program. As part of this post-graduate course I will carry out 200 hours of clinical practice and I have chosen to do this at a highly reputed Melbourne youth mental health service facility.

My work with clients is incredibly rewarding to me. I am dedicated to supporting teenagers and young adults in their education and employment exploration. I coach them with empathy, complete trust and positive regard. These are fundamental to the work that I do with all of my young clients and are essential in supporting a client with mental health issues.

Contact me if you have any questions or concerns.


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