Have you ever wished you could just have someone unbiased and your own age who understands what you’re going through to talk to when things are tough? Or maybe you see teens younger than you struggling with things you’ve been through and wish you could offer them advice that helped you get through a hard time. That’s what UpStreet’s Peer Mentoring program aims to help with for teens and young adults.
The Peer Mentoring program provides teens and young adults with opportunities to talk with someone near their own age who can help them navigate the challenges of high school and college, especially when it comes to mental and emotional health. The program is text-message-based, meaning that teens can participate from anywhere and have ongoing support and conversation.
This program pairs teens and young adults with a mentor who is slightly older than them who can provide support through text about navigating life challenges, mental health concerns, emotional stress, and more. Peer mentoring is one of UpStreet’s many tools to help bridge the gaps in teen and youth mental health services and provide necessary support to teens.
For teens and young adults who are interested in becoming mentors, this program can offer a chance to share your own life experiences and advice with someone who may be going through things you’ve been through yourself. In addition to building leadership and communication skills, you can also provide a much-needed connection for a younger teen that may be struggling. You may even inspire them to become a peer mentor! Peer mentors are supported by UpStreet staff and other peer mentors to ensure they have the tools and resources they need while they are mentoring someone.
For those interested in receiving peer mentoring, your mentor can become a reliable connection to talk to, ask questions to, or just reach out to in times of loneliness. They may be able to help you gain a different perspective on your situation, recommend resources that could be helpful, or just be a listening ear if you don’t feel you have anyone else to talk to about your challenges.
In addition to providing or getting support, peer mentoring can help you develop skills that will be useful in life, like interpersonal communication, empathy, leadership, and self-confidence (this goes for both mentors and mentees!). Teens who participate in mentoring are more likely to graduate from high school, have healthier relationships, and have high aspirations for life after high school.
With UpStreet’s new peer mentoring platform, applying to participate is easier than ever! You can apply to be a peer mentor or be mentored today.