Research & Data
Character Leadership Academy conducts surveys annually to understand the trends amongst youth in the area of mental health and wellbeing. Our findings influence the way we design our programmes, campaigns, and initiatives.
"Enhancing Youth Mental Health through Outdoor Adventure Education: Reevaluating Data Collection Strategies for Comprehensive Impact Assessment"
OAE has been recognised as a method of enhancing youths' mental states. Nevertheless, there is a lot of issue in this area, as there are plenty of programs with feedback systems and only a few comprehensive impact studies. Thus, this study proposes that it is high time to change the attention from program feedback to rigorous impact evaluation of OAE programs with respect to youth mental health. This study seeks to narrow the gap between intended and realised program consequences by reassessing and realigning data collection methods in order to enhance the impact of OAE interventions aimed at adolescent psychosocial protection.
As such, the current problem in regard to OAE programming for youth mental health is that there is much dependence on program feedback mechanisms and not all understanding of what the real impacts of these programs are. This study suggests that, perhaps, we can use systemic and quantitative effect evaluation through redetermination of kind of queries submitted to respondents. By exploring the genuine effects of OAE interventions on youth mental health and using these data to inform program redesign, we can develop more effective and targeted approaches to youth mental health support within the context of outdoor adventure education.
Mental Health: Peer Support System & Availability of Mental Resources & Support in the Competitive Sport for Youths
Young people are increasingly involved in organised sports at a time that is very crucial to their personal development. The youthful stage marks the peak of one's life and a critical moment for careful decision-making that would shape an individual's life and career progression (Dorsch et al., 2022). The competitive sports landscape has been identified as exposing young athletes to various stressors and emotional demands that in most cases overwhelm them and push them to the verge of mental state instability (Gould, D. (2019). The stress of training and competition that define the life of an athlete is one of the key causes of emotional instability that compromises young people's mental well-being. Every athlete dreams to perform at their peak in the competitions in which they participate. As a result, athletes train for many hours, days, and years to master the art of performance, which may only last a few seconds, minutes or hours. Consequently, the outcomes of their performance in such competitions, especially when they fail to meet the anticipated outcomes that they trained to achieve or fail to achieve the milestones set, such as getting to the finals, breaking records and establishing personal best, they feel disoriented and this is manifested by their mental instability (Walton et al., 2021).
While the use of drugs has been perceived to be one of the main causal factors perpetuating mental health instability among sporting youths, there are equally other wide-ranging issues affecting these young-abled individuals (Ströhle, 2019). This is mainly associated with the core reasons for individual engagement in individual or team sports. Sports psychologists are directing significant concerns into establishing the relationship between motivation and sports participation. Young people choose to participate in different sporting activities for various reasons, depending on their motivation. Some participate in sports to gain recognition, contribute to the sport, and find the satisfaction of keeping fit through sports, for financial gains, and simply for their love for the sport. Despite the source of motivation, competitive sporting comes with their fair share of challenges that, if not appropriately handled, may result in major mental instabilities at the onset and later develop into mental illness. Therefore, appropriate resources must be put in place to ensure that early detection of mental health cases among young athletes is established.
This study is relevant as it paints a clear picture of the prevalence of mental health issues amongst youths engaged in competitive sports in Singapore by delving deeper into their experiences and challenges. The information gathered from the study through empirical evidence and first-hand accounts validates the need to establish a peer-driven support network structure, one that perfectly fits within the context. The study will further provide a workable framework to design a curriculum tailored to the demographic and contextual needs of young athletes in Singapore, thus providing a strategic approach to address the challenge.
2021 to 2022 Findings
According to a survey that was conducted from 2021 to 2022, the question - "I know of a friend who is in danger of taking his/her life or someone who is undergoing stress and problems in life." 58% of the youths have chosen "yes" as their answer.
In the same survey, 22% of youths have felt that they are unable to help someone who is going through emotional trauma or someone who is sad or depressed. However, 92% would like to be trained as a "Happy Ambassador / GateKeeper" so that when the need arises, they know what to do.
2018 to 2019 Findings
In another survey that was conducted from 2018 and 2019, more than 50% of youths who are attending Polytechnics, ITEs, Universities, and those who are attending National Service, have said that "They are not comfortable with talking to their parents about their problems."
In the same survey, there was another question - "I know of a friend who is in danger of taking his/her life or someone who is undergoing stress and problems in life." More than half of the students in upper secondary, tertiary education, as well as those in National Service have chosen "yes" to the question.
These alarming findings are the reason behind why we do what we do.
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