News Archive February 2020
Open Young Minds Peer Mentors
What it’s like to have a Peer Mentor
Peer Mentors are trained and skilled young people/adults who offer ongoing informal support to young people aged between 12 and 21. They provide a non-judgemental listening ear that promotes self-worth and boosts self esteem, confidence and resilience. The Mentoring takes place in pre-arranged public places such as café’s, libraries, cinema etc. All our Peer Mentors are trained in safeguarding and are an invaluable asset to our Open Young Minds service.
On Children’s Mental Health Week 2020 we wanted to share a story of what it was like to have a peer mentor from one of our young people…
How does peer mentoring help?
Peer mentoring can be a great new experience and opportunity because this allows you to meet someone new, at first you can be nervous or anxious but it’s okay because they are nice and caring, they are around to help and never judge you on your background or what you have been though, this is a great way to start meeting in more public places while you talk your problems out and gain new ways to handle problems better. It was also good because you could have a lot in common with your peer mentor. This helps you because you can have friendly and funny chats which get’s you away from thinking about bad problems and distracts the mind.
How am I finding it?
Peer mentoring is good because it helps you have someone else to talk to about problems and issues, they can give support when you can’t see anyone else or ask for help because you don’t have appointments, they sometimes can be easier to talk to because you can get someone in your age range that can offer more support to you when needed. They are really good when you want help from someone when you don’t have an appointment for about 3 weeks you can see someone else in between when you have problems and issues and you have no one to talk to thought that week. It is really good to meet new people when you have anxiety issues and don’t want to go out to meet new people, this will encourage you to go out and talk to someone new.
How it helps me?
They will take you out and help support you more with your mental health and it requires going to social environments so that you can build up going out in public places better, this also helps you with anxiety and building up how to communicate better in public places if you are anxious about being out or around other. This is also good when you want to learn new techniques and gain help from another perspective. This is good to build up more relationships. This helped me because I could get new ideas from someone else and find new ways to manage my habit rather than keeping problems in.
How did she support me?
She supported me because she listened to my problems and gave me advice and help and said how well I was doing when I was doing things that would improve my life, this is good because it gives you more encouragement to do better because you have more people supporting you and have many different people telling you that you are doing well so that gives you more encouragement to push more and do better things. This also helps with anxiety so that you can be more confident when going out.
What was my overall experience?
It was good because I learned many different things, I learned new ways to manage my mental health better and build a better relationship with someone else out side of my comfort zone, this was overall very helpful for me because I learned many new things and understood why my mental health was a challenge but also I wasn’t alone though it all, she helped me because we had a laugh and joke as well as sorting though my problems, I also got talk about past education rather than just focusing on all the negative things that were happening, this is most important in mental health because you don’t want to always be focusing on the bad things, it’s about the positive progress you have made.
If you feel you would like to have the support of a peer mentor or volunteer to become a peer mentor yourself please get in touch with Mel or Vikky on 01706 752357 or email [email protected] or [email protected]
Author: Paula Hall
Posted on: 3rd February 2020
My Work Life as a Young Person’s Wellbeing Coordinator
Meet Mel, our Young Person’s Wellbeing Coordinator in our Open Young Minds Service.
Mel provides confidential support for young people aged 12-21 years old, who have mild to moderate emotional health issues in the Rochdale Borough. She is passionate about empowering young people to develop and grow their skills, knowledge and experiences to enable them to take control of their issues.
I’m Mel and I’ve been working in the Open Young Mind’s Team at Rochdale and District Mind for just over 2 years. The project supports young people aged 12 to 21 with low to moderate mental health needs.
From our first meeting
When a client comes to see me for the first time it is often the first time they have ever spoken about their issues to anyone which is a huge thing for them. Some young people I see, learn and take on board techniques to deal with their mental health issues quite quickly, resulting in them moving forward on their journey pretty fast. This is wonderful to witness. I guess one reason is because the unskillful habits we learn as adults haven’t had the time to become so deeply entrenched in younger people. That said, it’s not always the case and some of our young people are facing huge challenges in their lives which will naturally take longer for them to overcome.
Full of bravery
Young People are a really interesting bunch of people to work with and its great getting to know them along with the stories of their lives. These stories frequently and sadly contain some form of trauma/s. Their bravery in speaking to and trusting someone they’ve only met or barely know is astounding and I take my hat off to them. I doubt very much if I’d have been able to do the same at that age. Getting to know about other things in their lives and also having a laugh with them is good fun. We have the most interesting conversations about so many things. Working with them also helps me to develop professionally and personally and I learn so many things.
The theme of this years’ Children and Young People’s Mental Health Week is find your brave. To be honest I think the people past and present who come and see me already have. Let them be the inspiration for those other young people who are trying to find theirs.
If coming to our Open Young Minds, Peer Mentoring or Youth Group sounds like something you are interested in, you can find more information and the self-referral forms here.
Author: Paula Hall
Posted on: 3rd February 2020