8. How experts discuss the well-being and health of young people

8.2. Field-specific discourse on well-being and health in school, in youth work, in child, youth and family welfare, and in the workplace

What this is about

Young people generally operate in a wide variety of environments that have an impact on their health and well-being. Discussions with experts showed that these environments vary widely. School and extracurricular youth work, for example: participation is often established more strongly in youth work than it is in school. These have numerous services – such as drug prevention or health promotion – that are easily accessible to young people. Specialists talk of ‘low-threshold’ services. Young people are often able to get involved in how services are shaped or what they want to gain from them. This has two benefits: firstly, the services meet the needs of young people much more effectively if said young people have helped to design the services. And secondly, it is particularly important for people in difficult situations to feel active and self-effective. This makes the situation easier to bear and allows it to be moulded more positively.

This also fundamentally applies to school, where efforts are also being made to implement measures (such as a good classroom atmosphere) that will boost the well-being and health of students and teachers. However, students have a curriculum that is rigid to a greater or lesser extent. Additional services must take this into account. In such a rigid framework, how can students influence how these services are configured? This is difficult and is the subject of intense discussion among experts. They also examine child, youth and family welfare as a way of providing emotional security and resilience support, key fundamental elements of well-being. Discussions about this area primarily focus on the increasing pressures and ailments as a result of work, as this section shows.