Enabling places

Another possible connection that can promote better health and well-being for young people is with particular neighbourhoods and/or special places. Such places might produce feelings of security and belonging in young people that can be instrumental in seeing them through tough times. There is an emerging body of theory and evidence demonstrating how the places young people inhabit and feel connected to have a role in producing therapeutic encounters.

Duff (2011) points out that through an active process of association with place, young people can develop a diverse range of social, affective and material resources that might be used in their efforts to live well. He explains that such ‘enabling places’ are constructed or composed rather than discovered. The influence of place is therefore never fixed and can be fleeting; it can also play a role in experiences that are detrimental to well-being and healthy development (Duff, 2011).