CAMHS Volunteer Mentor
How long have you been a volunteer for the project?
I have been volunteering for almost 2 years now. I came across the program towards the end of my last year at uni as I wanted to help people struggling with their mental health and as my first experience working within the field I can say I’m glad I became a mentor and I would recommend it to anyone looking to support young people.
What have you learnt from the project?
As a mentor I have been able to build therapeutic relationships, develop my communication skills and learn from supervision – all skills that have allowed me to constantly improve delivery of sessions and my general approach in supporting mentees making progress toward their goals. Additionally, I have been able to use these skills in my work as a support worker and I will continue to do so throughout my career.
What type of activities did you do with your mentee? How do you think they benefited from the experience?
Above all, I have especially enjoyed taking part in activities with mentees. In my experience I have been able to use sports that mentees enjoy, to build rapport. Not only do I enjoy sport too, but it also allows for trust to be built and as a tool to create goals mentees can work toward in a way they find interesting, which I have also found to be key to engaging mentees.
Using this approach, alongside being empathetic and non-judgemental, will allow mentees to be themselves and enjoy improving their wellbeing. Therefore, I would recommend to anyone who wants to help young people and values these qualities to become a mentor.
You can find out more information on how to join the CAMHS Mentoring Project and other volunteering schemes the South London and Maudsley Trust has to offer: https://slam.nhs.uk/camhs-mentoring-project.