Positive Realities was established in 2013 to support young people, aged 12-25, across Edinburgh and the Lothians, with the transition into adulthood through personal development workshops and life coaching. They believe long term outcomes can only be achieved when people realise they contribute to situations in which they find themselves and can find their own solutions for improving lives.
Their programmes help improve the health and well-being of young people as well as their parents, carers and siblings through 1:1 coaching, support and group based emotional and social support.
Positive Realities were aware that many young people have a difficult transition into adulthood, particularly those who experience difficulty with education, suffer from mental health issues and in many cases the situation can be quite complex with a number of compounding factors, e.g. family bereavement or a history of abuse.
The group were also finding that that despite being a preventative service they were receiving more complex cases from professionals and families due to a lack of community based mental health support.
To address these issues Positive Realities designed a life coach programme which operates on an outreach basis, providing a more flexible approach. During the sessions the young people have the opportunity to set goals and work alongside a coach to help achieve them. This supports the young people to work on positive behavioural changes, and helps them feel they have more control over their life, as well as helping find solutions to any problems.
The David Doig Foundation, in 2018, awarded Positive Realities funding to help support the life coaching programme, thus enabling 11 volunteer life coaches to meet with 26 young people. The programme was a great success and many young people have gone on to achieve improvements in their lives, such as continuing with education, training and employment, as well as growing their confidence and self-esteem and overall feeling much more resilient and independent.
Abigail, is 22 years old and for most of her life has struggled with mental health, in particular suffering from feelings of anxiety and depression. Due to depression she had to give up her full time role, and became more isolated as a result, finding it difficult to communicate with family and friends.
Abigail was referred to Positive Realities by a community mental health nurse. At the beginning of the programme Abigail spent time establishing positive and trusting relationship with the community mental nurse before life coaching could begin. Abigail’s first supports included support with anxiety and anger management techniques.
Abigail was reflective of the support she was receiving and fed back to the life coach the methods she was finding most effective. At the start of the progamme her wellbeing was rated low, however, by the end of life coaching Abigail rated her health and wellbeing as being greatly improved. Abigail now uses the new techniques to manage her anxiety, which has greatly added to her quality of life.