“The kids aren’t alright”. The band’s song “The Offspring” seems to have become increasingly relevant over the past two years. Declining social contact, fewer leisure opportunities: the corona pandemic has somehow gotten on most people’s minds. Even if the measures are now passé, more and more crises are emerging (zentralplus reported).
Young people are increasingly turning to counseling services
The young people were hit particularly hard. Youth counseling services such as the Pro Juventute helpline have seen an increase of up to 70 percent (zentralplus reported). But not only her. The Lucerne Advice and Information Center for Education and Career – BIZ recorded around 40 percent more cases in the area of ”accompanying offers” for 2021.
As Christof Spöring, Head of the Vocational and Further Education Department, explains when asked, the numbers for careers advice remained fairly stable. However, since the world of work has become more complex, more young people are taking advantage of the support. The other support offers such as school counseling are, however, more in demand. “We have significantly more consultations there.”
Mental stress on boys is increasing
The reason for this is that the psychological stress on young people is increasing. “We have more adolescents with depression and anxiety in our counseling sessions, some of whom also need psychiatric treatment.” Some struggle with the pressure to perform. The HelpPoint service is now available at all Lucerne vocational schools for this purpose. This low-threshold offer offers tutoring or support courses, for example. However, some also suffer from psychosocial issues. School counseling is used for this.
For example, family difficulties such as the parents separating. Or bullying from school or vocational school colleagues. Often they also have cases in which the young person has to struggle with several difficulties at the same time. “The cases are becoming more complex,” says Spöring.
In such cases, their specialized psychologists first try to find out who is involved – family, teaching company, school or the private environment. They then try to support the young people in finding a solution with interventions or other measures. They also try to strengthen the resilience of the young people affected so that they learn to deal better with such difficulties.
But even the consultants can reach their limits. “Clinical experts are required for mental illnesses. Then we turn on youth psychiatry.” However, this could be difficult, because there is an acute shortage of skilled workers in child and adolescent psychiatry in particular (zentralplus reported).
Facilitate access to counseling
However, the increase does not only have to do with the poorer mental state of young people in Lucerne, says Spöring. The BIZ now also offers more services, such as an application check. Some services can now also be used online, which seems to be well received. “The fact that young people are increasingly using the support offered by the BIZ is also a positive sign,” says Spöring.
Nevertheless, a specialist department is currently analyzing the increase in consultations. This should determine whether there is a need for further specific offers.
That’s what the BIS does
The BIZ is the primary point of contact for questions relating to the profession. For example, which job or which degree suits you. Or how young adults could reorient themselves professionally. In addition, the BIZ also offers free school advice and case management, where they help young people with performance difficulties or problems at school or in the apprenticeship.
- media release Office for vocational and further training in the canton of Lucerne
- Telephone call with Christof Spöring, head of the vocational and further training department
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