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Shout out loud! Mentoring and Coaching Achievements of Southend YMCA

Image Source: A young adult playing with Jenga blocks. A different image is used for the case study below to maintain confidentiality

Meet Ava (different name and image used for confidentiality), a remarkable young woman who was referred to the coaching and mentoring project of Southend YMCA under the following categories: Anxiety, Emotional Distress, Challenging Behaviours, Conflict within the home, school and friendships, risky behaviours, and social isolation.

Ava commenced working with a practitioner- Victoria, where an initial assessment was conducted in an informal, unstructured manner which fostered a therapeutic relationship. By conducting the assessment in this manner, the purpose of coaching and mentoring was to ensure that Ava felt at ease and could address her mental health issues.

During the sessions, a holistic approach was employed, involving collaboration with all her social systems to achieve positive adaptation. The practitioner demonstrated unconditional positive regard and active listening during the coaching and mentoring sessions. This facilitated a deeper understanding of Ava’s personality, including her strengths and difficulties.

Information was gathered from Ava using an ecomap, along with assessments and unstructured discussions. These sessions provided an opportunity to discuss a 10-year future plan that enabled them to work towards a collaborative future goal/s.

Moreover, interventions using the Motivational Interviewing techniques were pursued, which allowed for discussions on Ava’s mental health matters and the steps required to achieve these goals. These sessions also facilitated discussions of Ava’s reactions and steps required to fulfil these goals. What was revealed from these sessions is an understanding of how we can react, but we cannot change other people’s behaviour.

Reflecting on the initial sessions to the present day, Ava has acknowledged her responsibilities and sought additional work to aid her daily lifestyle. She has engaged with the school and addressed areas of difficulty, which has resulted in a significant improvement to her interaction with her circle of friends and reduction her bullying attacks in the school. Additionally, she changed her circle of friends and successfully interviewed, enrolled, and been registered with the local college. Notably, she has ceased self-harming. When conducting her outcome assessment during the concluding sessions, there was a marked improvement in her ratings, which the school acknowledged as a positive change.

The school's feedback is as follows: "Ava has been attending school from 8:30 am and attended all the lessons. There was a blip with food technology, but this hurdle has been overcome. We are extremely proud of Ava's progress this academic year”.

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