Individual and group coaching sessions
We worked with young people from the position, where there were at the moment and on the goals, they had set up for themselves. The over-reaching aim was to open up for young people with mental health issues the possibility for further studies in higher education institutions. We discussed their wishes, areas of interests and preferred way of studies (full time student, open university students, open path studies, etc.). Majority of young people were interested in human and social studies, such as social services, languages, psychology, ethnography and arts. Based on their living experiences and interests, they were very good candidates for chosen studies. Besides we also talked together on topics related to studies, such as supporting services for students, financial support, or work life. In cooperation among young people, university of applied science and non-governmental organisation, we built coaching modules, that cover the frequently asked questions.
From the coaching sessions we also gathered many ideas on how people are being excluded from the further studies:
- People with autism – sometimes authorities decide, that person with autism cannot study at the UNI because it will cost a lot of stress although this person made it through the application process and was accepted for studies.
- People with mental health problems: it’s difficult to explain to people, that although someone is physically present, they are somewhere else (in their word) by their mind. People don’t understand it, they don’t know how to react in such a situation.
- For people with dyslexia or dyscalculia – support is no anymore available at UNI.
- Socio – economical background of the family: young person doesn’t see further studying as an option, nor do their parents
- Age – pressure from the society that you have to study while you are young because after a certain age you are considered to be too old to change a career or to study. Something like you have to do it now or never and when you are not in the position to study as a young person then it seems like an unreachable goal.
- Lack of representation: as students at UNI are visibly presented only white, rich, and healthy students, so if you have certain issues in your life, you hardly see yourself as capable of studying.
- Accessibility of campuses for people on wheelchairs or with another move dysfunction
- Regional differences: lots of studying options on South Finland
- Lack of affordable student apartments in the Metropolitan Area