NEETs are a particularly vulnerable group. Unfortunately, they often find themselves rejected by public and social life, not accepted in the labour market and insufficiently well supported by conventional methods in the field of employment.

The multidimensional program developed within the project “L.I.K.E. “Investments in life is the key to employment” aims to improve the social inclusion and employment of the target group of NEETs with mental health problems by applying an innovative methodology to meet their needs and engage in the process the whole community – relatives, employers and institutions. The program implemented in the “Hidden Likes” Youth House supports the development of a wide range of social and practical skills that help the inclusion of young people with mental problems in the labour market. Hidden Likes Houses act as centres to provide a safe environment for youth with mental health issues. They guarantee that all measures in the process of motivation, inclusion and self-realization of the youth are being taken.

Reaching the desired level of socialization, developing the full potential of young people and improving their employment status could hardly be realized if their parents are not involved in the process. What can parents of young people with mental problems do to facilitate their self-realization? Here are some suggestions:

Setting realistic goals

If more is expected of young people than they can help, they are bound to become discouraged. Setting unrealistic goals will undermine confidence and further demotivate youth. On the other hand, if too much attention is being paid to difficulties and limitations, one is likely to feel helpless and incapable. It is therefore important for parents to be realistic in their own expectations, while at the same time encouraging NEETs to set achievable but challenging goals. Their achievement is guaranteed to increase the sense of effectiveness among young people with mental health problems.

Aspirational support

It is important for parents to support the aspirations of young people. This helps build their self-esteem and boost confidence in their own capabilities. By demonstrating belief in their coping abilities and especially these aspirations, parents empower youth with mental health issues to take risks, overcome life’s challenges, and cope in the face of obstacles.

Promoting self-awareness

Parents can provide direction and motivation for future educational and career endeavours by encouraging NEETs to explore their interests, strengths, and skills. Good self-knowledge and orientation in one’s own qualities and strengths are good first steps towards employment and activation of the labour market.

Providing emotional support

The transition from the social isolation in which young people with mental health problems often live to the labour market can be challenging and a source of great stress. Parents can be a tremendous source of emotional support by offering to listen, encouraging youth in times of setbacks, and helping them develop resilience and adaptive coping strategies. Emotional support from parents can provide NEETs with the confidence and stability needed to cope with the ups and downs of life.

Empowerment of NEETs

Parents are undoubtedly the main source of support for their children. However, to ensure their social inclusion and self-actualization, it is essential that parents encourage and allow independence and autonomous functioning. It is important that young people with mental health problems are motivated to develop as individuals and actively participate in their own personal and career development.