SpeakEasy youth support:
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easing the volcano
Sometimes the way ahead is stormy.
There are natural forces, unexpected events, and life stresses that cannot necessarily be avoided. Sometimes we can prepare for difficult times to come and at others we need a helping hand to avoid obstacles or to pick up the pieces when things fall apart. At times the storm or volcanic activity brewing is within.
Young people in particular can feel, or become, isolated from necessary support for many reasons; among them, fear of speaking out, lack of access, lack of confidence or an inability to articulate and express themselves. Or, due to a feeling of hopelessness that can arise through failed attempts to be heard. The volcano rumbles away.
SpeakEasy is not just another talking shop. For sure, honest conversation and open dialogue are central to the support that this service offers. A safe and confidential environment is a must. However, beyond initial contact, there is a process whereby the young person is able to
(i) identify and explore his/her own issues and needs,
(ii) participate in a structured social education programme to begin to address these,
(iii) have the opportunity to explore, develop and rehearse the necessary skills and strategies to move in a positive direction they have ownership of and towards goals that they have defined; and
(iv) be signposted on to further support if necessary, for families to access support alongside that of their son or daughter, and for the young person to have an advocate that is willing to be available beyond the period of intensive support, as appropriate.
The skilled manner in which young people are engaged via SpeakEasy youth support will enable them to openly converse and enter into a dialogue which enhances their sense of self worth, will allow challenge of engrained self doubt, limiting belief and internalised stereotypes; and, increase positive self expression.
It is the hope that the volcano will no longer bubble away or ultimately erupt (with all the consequences that come with that outcome); rather, that their need for an outlet be managed and nurtured, through the ventilation that being listened to can achieve. Essentially, the young person is able to SpeakEasy and be heard.