April 22, 2020
The Benefits of Mental Health Mentorship
No one can fully understand the struggles of a mental illness unless they have been there themselves. For those who have journeyed through a mental illness and come through the other side, they have invaluable advice and inspiration to share with those beginning or in the middle of their journey.
They know what it is like to go through mental health and/or substance use issues and they know what it is like to find healing in treatment. Now, after stepping back into their life, they can see the difference treatment has had. Now, they can help others who are on their own mental health journey and become a mental health mentor.
Does this sound like you? If so, learn more about mental health mentoring and how you can make a difference in the life of another young adult.
The Power of Peer Mentorship
There is immense power in being a peer. Teens and young adults with mental health struggles are often surrounded by well-meaning adults. These adults are well-trained in helping teens overcome depression, anxiety, and a myriad of other issues. However, you have something they do not. You are a peer.
You have a unique power in being able to relate to a teen going through their own mental health issues. As a peer, you won’t need to work so hard to earn their trust. You have vocabulary and knowledge of the culture that they understand and can relate to. They will look up to you simply because you are one of them.
Everyone wins when you, as a peer, are willing to step up, share your story, and share your experiences. You have so much power just from being in the middle of it. You are raw, you are real, and other people will change their lives because of your story.
Sharing your Mental Health Story
In addition to being more relatable, you also have the power of experience. When you are able to step into your story and speak out about your mental health issue, you give power to your story. You have the experience, and it is that experience that is now and real and relatable to your peers.
As you tell others about your experiences, they will be able to see their own future of healing in you. Having adults tell you about their experiences in different programs at different times in different world climates and general context is inspiring. But your story is now, here, today. You did this, you healed, and very recently. Your experiences have so much more power in today’s context.
Additionally, sharing in the treatment process allows for added growth as you relate to one another’s journeys and inspire one another with your successes, big and small. It is also like a refresher course for you to remember all of the things you learned in treatment. And, who knows, you may even learn something new that you missed the first time around.
True mentoring allows you to live by example, as well as having the humility to be taught by someone else, too.
Inspiring Healing from Mental Health Issues
You experienced the power of healing in your life. Through your treatment, you were able to address the pain and possibly lifelong trauma that was impacting your life in every way. As you healed from your pain, you became empowered and you have benefitted from what you learned along the way. Now you have the chance to model that healing for other people, too.
You can have added power as a mentor by practicing what you preach. You are literally living on the path they are stepping onto, and living by example is one of the most powerful tools in recovering from mental health and/or substance use.
Mental Health Mentorship Empowers Teens
You do not need to be a formal mentor to share the power of your life with other people. Maybe there is a mental health club at school, or perhaps you can start one. Maybe you can mentor a friend or a sibling.
Mentoring is often as simple as sharing your newly found superpowers of mental health and wellness with others around you. As a peer, you have powers and the ability to relate that no grownups have. You have power in that you are walking the path and showing the way. Not as a superior, but as a peer.
Find your inner mentor today. The difference that you make in others’ lives can also help you.
Discover the power of mentoring others. What you do to help others may help you even more. Call Potomac Programs at 1-855-557-5448 for support.