Since Covid-19 spread across the world, isolating people to their homes and disrupting the way we live, something that has stood out most is the importance of having someone to talk to. We have seen hundreds of people calling hot lines just for to talk to someone. The importance of having a sense of community in these times cannot be underestimated.
In an increasingly fast paced world, it is difficult to find time to be there for people and even for ourselves. As a consequence, spaces to talk about mental health are shrinking. The day has therefore been set aside to create supportive communities by having conversations with family, friends, or colleagues about mental health. We all have mental health. By talking about it, we can support ourselves and others. At its core, mentoring is about helping another person. A mentor is somebody who advises, supports and guides another in the right direction.
There are many benefits of mentoring, which is why this type of relationship is established in schools, universities and organisations the world over. Many celebrities have cited their mentors as having played a huge role in their success, and finding a mentor is on the top of many people's career development lists.
But less often discussed is the positive impact, for both the mentee and the mentor, that the relationship has on mental health and wellbeing.
Here's a list of things mentoring is proven to help:
1. Supporting isolation
2. Reducing levels of anxiety
3. Increasing self-confidence
4. Feeling listened to
5. Providing hope for the future
This is truly powerful and can make a huge difference in the lives of those suffering from poor mental health. If running a mentoring programme tailored towards mental health support specifically, ensure your mentors have received adequate training in how to broach topics surrounding the future, so as not to overwhelm or panic their mentees.
Typically, mentors may look to discuss and set long term career or personal goals with their mentees. However, for someone suffering from mental health issues this could be overwhelming and lead to them putting undue pressure on themselves. Mentors need to be aware of this and work on short term achievable goals to boost confidence and reduce anxiety.