“Few things help an individual more than to place responsibility upon him, and to let him know that you trust him.”
Booker T. Washington
We are in the trust business. Both in the work we take on with our clients, which we’d encourage you to Engage with, and in our target workforce – young people. The key challenge is to build trust with young people, whose involvement in youth participation or other versions of co-production (‘faux production’) are likely to have been tokenistic, unsupported and unpaid. We are seeking to change this reputation within the field of participation/engagement/co-production by holding ourselves and our partners to a higher standard. We are building relationships with local young people’s organisations across the UK and with young people directly, through outreach, events and partnership working. We believe a healthy localised support system for young people creates an opportunity for an organisation working at a national level to leverage their established relationships with communities and young people, in a way that would not be possible without us.
Delivering opportunities to thrive
The value of a co-production process led by young people is it repositions young people as equal assets rather than passive recipients in the process. The impact of working in this way is that the products we produce are exceptional. Our training impact data for our in-house training platforms outperforms every competitor in the space. However, the greatest depth of impact we have as an organisation is with our Young Advisors, who through recognising their lived experience as an asset and their potential as limitless see a transformative period of personal and professional growth over their time working with Healthy Teen Minds. 100% of alumni Young Advisors at Healthy Teen Minds are in Education Employment or Training. For many, Healthy Teen Minds was not only their first employer, but their first connection with education, training or employment after a lengthy period of absence due to their mental health. Whereas traditional routes for young people into EET create barriers due to their mental health, we specifically target young people recognising the wealth of talent that is passed over due to stigma, stereotyping or a failure to realise that if you make reasonable adjustments in the workplace, provide the type of organisational culture that allows all employees to achieve their full potential and is a ‘good’ place to work, then everyone will thrive.