There is no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted everyone in one way or another. However, it has been particularly challenging on our high school and university students, young workforce and young professionals. During this time of change and uncertainty, young people are ‘in transition’ for the first time and often lack the confidence to ask for help or support.
While isolated from their regular social and academic communities, we need to give our young Australians the best chance of success by prioritising meaningful connections and providing them with a strong support system through mentorship.
Listen to ignite:
- When listening, it is important to not interrupt or impose solutions. Be open minded and present. This shows that you are prioritising what the speaker is saying.
- Try to feel what the speaker is feeling. When listening to someone younger than you, the age gap may pose subconscious assumptions or judgements and it can be difficult to understand their concerns or emotions. However, it might be helpful to try to put yourself in their shoes to better connect with their situation and concerns.
- Finally, be open-minded and non-judgmental. This will let the speaker feel valued and respected. It will also encourage them to share their thoughts and feelings with the knowledge that you are responding positively to what they are saying.
Build trust fast:
- Be transparent by sharing your experiences as well as your challenging moments
- Show respect and empathy
- Say what you mean “find your voice, speak your truth and listen deeply”
Building resilience during these uncertain times is crucial for a young person’s wellbeing and will contribute to their successes in 2020.
- Changes in the day to day routine of schools, universities and society may cause students to experience stress or to feel anxious. Being conscious and aware of these feelings is the first step towards understanding how to support the young individual.
- Adolescents often assume the worst-case scenario during an unfamiliar crisis but it is important to help them slow down and understand what the current situation is. Try to be empathetic and encourage them to build resilience through positive thinking, finding the ‘silver linings’ in life and looking for ways to overcome past and present challenges in life.
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