Online career support and positive mental health

I’ve recently been thinking about career guidance and mental health. One of the questions that I’ve particularly got interested in is whether it is possible to offer online career guidance/career support in a way that (1) supports individuals to maintain positive mental health e.g. by keeping them engaged in work and learning and supporting them to progress and improve job quality; and (2) whether people who are experiencing mental health issues ever turn to career guidance for support and whether when they do they look for online support.

I’d be really interested if anyone had any examples of policy, practice or research that addressed any of this. Let me know if you do.


  1. Hi Tristram. In my experience as a careers adviser with Connexions, we frequently engaged with young people with mental health issues. We did have “good practice guides” in house to help with this, and focussed on the self esteem gains of engagement, as well as the prevention of further social exclusion, and possible degeneration. However, frequently we were unable to intervene as things got worse, and would step aside for CAMHS to get involved. Often this lead to long periods of disengagement, which I think was detrimental, but I, and my colleagues were unclear as to whether encouring young people to continue in education, or training or even volunteering / positive activities would “interfere” with their mental health “intervention”. I think it’s definitely an area where advisers would benefit from further support and training, and clients would undoubatbly benefit from motivational and inspirational guidance around their futures. As I’m sure you know, Connexions advocated a holistic view of young people, incorporating aspirations, which in my opinion was an excellent approach, if somewhat trickier to implement!!

  2. Hello Tristram
    I have undertaken some research as part of a Masters degree in Art Therapy that is related to career counselling, mental health and the application of Art Therapy as an intervention. Although not directly related to your interest area of working in the online environment, I’d be happy to share with you my reference list for previous research related to career counselling and mental health. Let me know if you’d like me to send this through.

  3. Hi Tris
    NIACE did some excellent work on Prescriptions for Health published as Winning Hearts and Minds. This focussed on career guidance particularly for those with mental health issues and other long term health issues. It did not look at online services but I think that if you can make the services visible and excellent then some of these people would access especially for follow up appointments.

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