“Sometimes you just need to talk to someone, to get it all out your head and not feel judged or told what to do.” (young person)
Throughout our work, we have met young people who have expressed a need to be heard and valued. Many are unsure about their lives and their emotions and need a space to talk openly about “stuff” that has an impact on their lives.
Alternatives Dundee Youth provides a safe, confidential and quiet space for young people to “download” their story and explore their own questions and emotions. Feeling heard and understood can often increase resilience and has a strong link to positive mental health and wellbeing as a young person seeks meaning whilst trying to deal with life, its challenges, and its transitions.
Through active listening and helping the young person ‘hear’ what they are saying themselves we seek to empower young people by building the self-awareness and emotional intelligence needed to maintain positive wellbeing. All of our team receive supervision, are trained in effective listening and all have the COSCA certificate in counselling skills.
Each young person will be allocated to a dedicated and trained ‘Listener’, and will have the option of up to six 30-50 minute sessions as part of the listening service.
‘Download’ is a pre-mental health diagnosis, early intervention listening service. Although we recognise the huge need for young people’s mental health support, we do not offer counselling, advice or therapy. Our listening service is therefore only available to those who do not already have a mental health diagnosis and are not already receiving counselling or mental health support from another service.
If we feel we can not offer the level of support that a young person needs, we will signpost to another service with the permission of the young person. We recognise that telling your story over and over to different people can be a very negative experience and we don’t want that to happen by accepting referrals for specific support that we don’t offer.
Young people can access “Download” if they:
- are aged from 12, up to 25 years old. (sorry, but our generic listening service is not available to those 25 and over)
- have a low level concern about how they feel about themselves
- have a low risk situation they are facing now
- have a big decision to make and unsure what to do
- are currently struggling with friendships or relationships
How Can I Get Support?
Alternatives Dundee Youth can provide listening support through the following ways: