Project: Peer support mentoring programme
This grant has trained 21 volunteer mentors and in turn helped 129 young people by bringing mental health and the importance of this into their schools. Bucks Mind have been able to ‘make a dent’ in the stigma and discrimination surrounding this subject and promote early intervention to schools. The difference to young people has been two-fold:
- Difference to mentors: The grant has enabled mentors to have a position of responsibility in their school and this has improved their self confidence in their capabilities. Mentors have been able to go into different year groups and give talks about mental health and well-being to the younger students – improving their presentation skills and self confidence. Through the training, the Mentors have also broadened their knowledge and become mental health ambassadors which will hopefully stay with them into further education and/or employment.As one mentor said ‘I now feel able to talk about mental health having gone through BucksMind training and it is not so scary’ (Year 13 student).
- Difference to young people accessing the service: The grant has provided help and support and a safe environment to express feelings and thoughts with someone who is not another professional but a peer – close to them in age and perhaps with shared experience of issue.A Service user testimonial included ‘it’s nice to talk to people who are not involved with what I’m going through and who I can trust and is not going to tell everyone’.
Faith was one of our selected mentors in school. Faith was nervous about applying to be a mentor but really wanted to do it as she felt she had a lot to give and she has good communication skills. Faith worked really well in the team, helping to design the drop in room and posters. Despite being nervous at the thought of presenting Faith did a grand job. Faith was in social services and used her own experiences to help others in similar situations and will continue to do so as a result of being a mentor.