PodSquad Toolkit Piloting, September 2023, Romania

Studies have shown that after the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a “substantial rise in symptoms of mental ill-health.” The PODSQUAD project recognizes that it is vital to support NEETs and vulnerable young people to manage their mental health and spread positive mental health messages among this group. To support young adult NEETs, the PODSQUAD project proposed the My Mental Health Toolkit of Resources to address the effects of the pandemic on mental health.

The PODSQUAD My Mental Health Toolkit of Resources comprises a suite of videos and self-help resources that are specifically tailored to NEETs to support them to manage their mental health and well-being.

Upon completing the toolkit and making it freely available online in English, Romanian, Greek and Spanish, project partners started the piloting phase, i.e. testing the toolkit in real-life training settings. TEAM4Excellence carried out the piloting in Romania.

To shine a light into the multiple ways in which the My Mental Health Toolkit of Resources could be delivered to target audience, TEAM4Excellence educators organised face-to-face, hybrid and online training sessions which took place on 13 and 15 September with a total number of 17 participants.

The My Mental Health Toolkit training program targeted young adult NEETs (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) in its piloting phase. These NEETs participants were not currently enrolled in formal education, employed in regular jobs, or involved in any structured training programs. Most of them were in transitional phases in their lives and careers, from education towards employment.

The participants in the pilot program were primarily between the ages of 18 and 26. This age range is characteristic of young adults who are transitioning from adolescence into early adulthood.
Participants in the training program came from diverse socio-economic backgrounds. Some may have faced economic challenges, while others might have had additional barriers to education and employment, such as mental health issues or lack of access to support networks. The participants in the My Mental Health Toolkit training program represented different cultural backgrounds, and life experiences.

Participants had a common goal of improving their mental health and well-being, as well as gaining skills and strategies to enhance their employability or educational prospects. The program was focused on building resilience, self-confidence, and coping mechanisms.

The level of engagement with the My Mental Health Toolkit training varied among participants. Some were highly motivated and actively participated in all aspects of the program, while others were more reserved or hesitant initially. The program aimed to foster increased engagement and self-motivation among all participants.

Given their NEET status and potential mental health challenges, participants required additional support, both during and outside of the training sessions. This included access to one-on-one counselling services and mentorship.

The aim of the piloting was to introduce local young adult NEETs to the PODSQUAD My Mental Health Toolkit of Resources and to support them manage their mental health and well-being. With this, we aimed for young people to gain access to media-rich resources that support them to overcome poor mental health and to develop healthy habits, routines and behaviours that will help to maintain positive mental well-being. The training programme comprised of 20 topics. Each topic was supported by a video and a self-help activity worksheet.

The feedback for the My Mental Health Toolkit of Resources was collected using a Google Form survey which consisted of one category question (the country), 14 quantitative questions and 4 qualitative questions. In a nutshell, most participants rated the toolkit with 5 on a 1-5 scale, while none of them rating the toolkit less than 4. This is considered an outstanding result, which speaks for the great quality of the resource kit. We will continue to deliver education in the area of podcasts. Stay tuned!


Location: Face To Face and Online

Date: 13,15 September 2023

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