I am currently developing curriculum for the diploma of youth work here in Australia. This curriculum is focused on youth mental health. There are many of my colleagues who believe that any form of specialist training of youth workers is degrading our profession. That to develop a new focus in our training is to minimise our effectiveness as an industry to ourselves. However, as should be apparent to long time readers, we disagree completely.
We have said before that we believe the time has come for a complete rethinking of the current youth work curriculum. One area we believe has been sorely missing for decades is that of mental health. If one in four young people will have a diagnosed mental health issue it is our responsibility to have a strong understanding of the area. We believe that youth workers should gain at least an emergency triage level understanding of mental health.
If you are a youth work educator, a service manager or a team leader we believe it is your responsibility to impart on your junior staff and students a need for new knowledge. In particular and one of the easiest to impart would be that of mental health. Do you do this at the moment? What curriculum do you use to teach mental health?
Let us know!