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Old 03-26-2019, 12:39 PM #1
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Default Mentor

Have you ever been a mentor to people? Children or young people? Or to anyone with a mental health struggle who may need support?

Have you ever had a mentor?

What qualities do you think someone would need in order to be a good and effective mentor, and especially to “do no harm”

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Old 03-26-2019, 01:06 PM #2
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Default Re: Mentor

I have never been a mentor, Fuzzybear, nor did I ever have one. I do believe kindness and repsect are the two fundamental qualities that a mentor, or any human being really, should have. I have met several people from whom I have tried to learn as much as I could. I have tried to be more like them because I admired them. I'm not sure if that qualifies as a mentor, but they have taught me a lot. Even if you don't have a mentor, having someone to look up to is very important in my opinion. Sending many hugs to you, Fuzzyber, and to all of you
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Old 03-26-2019, 02:24 PM #3
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Default Re: Mentor

Would 'peer support' qualify? I've done this a few times as part of moderating a support group in the past.

I do however mentor outside of the mental health community. I have volunteered for the Open Door Society and a literacy foundation. I really enjoyed the first. It is a society set up to support refugees with helping them transition to living their lives in Canada. It involved sometimes inviting them over as I hosted a dinner so as they could have the opportunity to see how we who have always lived here do something as simple as prepare a traditional meal. Even such things as witnessing a dog's place as a pet in the home was new - and a little scary - for some of these new Canadians. I also would take my assigned families grocery shopping and on other errands so as they could learn how it is done here. What are the English terms and alternatives for the ingredients they are used to. Even showing a family around their new kitchen and how to operate the stove was of importance. So too, taking them to register their children in public school and helping with the fears some of them had about doing so. There was also a social component to being a volunteer as sometimes 'work' was simply enjoying a coffee so as these new Canadians could practice and improve their English skills. This has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done in my life. Some have become long term friends - all of whom are now leading constructive and successful new lives.
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Old 03-26-2019, 03:36 PM #4
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Default Re: Mentor

I don't think I've ever been a mentor. On purpose. Or even inadvertently to a young person or child. I guess my answer is no. But I have a young cousin, 8 years old now, and I played with and cared for her at family parties to give her parents a break. I enjoyed it. She was a difficult child. But I know I made mistakes. I was really relaxed and sort of passive with her. She was the opposite, lol.

The qualities one should have in being a mentor. Well, these are just my thoughts, but perhaps patience, and endurance. You can't just do it because it sounds cool and then leave when you don't feel like it anymore. So, commitment. I like your mention of "do no harm." I also imagine a mentor as encouraging, and accepting of the young person. I often think of mentors as successful people who have careers, but that really should not be the HAVE to be the case. It seems people want others to be mentors when they "have their **** together." But in reality, that does not have to be the case either. Everyone has issues.
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Old 03-26-2019, 04:15 PM #5
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Default Re: Mentor

I have had a mentor when I changed career. It was different to therapy and very helpful. My mentor was older and wiser than me, with experience in the field I was moving both away from and to, and had a lot of useful reading and other materials. The exercises she gave me were particularly helpful. She trained as a career/ lifestyle mentor not as a therapist, and her first role was as a nurse. I'd recommend it!
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