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World Mental Health Day: How Mentoring Can Help

Tom Lewis
12 October 2020
Mental Health

This weekend marked World Mental Health Day, seeing businesses and individuals speaking out about their own and our collective mental health.

This year it feels particularly poignant as further lockdown measures loom, isolation is a way of life, and the nights begin to draw in.

In today’s climate, we should of course be paying attention to our mental health and the mental health of those around us every single day. How can we do this, and where does mentoring fit in?

Normalise the Conversation

Talk about mental health. Each of us has a responsibility to encourage and welcome open discussions about mental health both at home and in the workplace.

By bringing these conversations into the context of the everyday, you create an environment in which those struggling with their mental health can feel comfortable sharing their concerns.

Put this into practice by remaining aware of how others are behaving around you, inviting them to share how they feel, and signpost those struggling to the appropriate help.

Integrate Mindfulness

Though the practice of mindfulness has gained traction in the Western world in recent years, there is still so much space to take this further. Mindfulness can be instrumental in cultivating a quieter and more compassionate mind.

Whether you are suffering from mental health problems yourself, or you just want to be better prepared to help those who are, mindfulness facilitates understanding and recovery.

Businesses can make efforts to schedule regular mindfulness lunches, seminars, or casual meetings dedicated to mindfulness practice.

It may only be possible over Zoom or Skype for the time being, but mindfulness - as it says on the tin - starts in the mind. There is no reason why we cannot all bring this practice into our daily lives.

Woman meditating on a bed

How Mentoring Can Help

It is becoming clear that mentoring and coaching can have a positive effect on the wellbeing of the mentee, as it creates a safe space for them to speak openly and without judgement.

Wiseup mentees have commonly described their mentoring sessions as helping them in the following ways:

  • - Improving mindset
  • - Recuperating confidence
  • - Overcoming imposter syndrome
  • - Gaining reassurance
  • - Facilitating personal growth
  • - Boosting energy
  • - Increasing focus

Studies from recent years are also showing that mentoring can help the mentor, just as much as the mentee, cope with common mental health issues such as stress, anxiety and depression.

A study by the Journal of Vocational Behaviour, co-authored by University of Cambridge Judge Business School, wrote that “by acknowledging that anxieties are common, both the mentees and mentors in this study appeared to be more comfortable discussing such issues and therefore in developing different coping mechanisms” (2018).

Likewise, The Advocacy Project writes that “the sense of accomplishment is huge when you help someone to achieve their goals” and that mentors often experience “an increase in confidence and a renewed ability to cope with their own mental health” (2018).

For this reason, mentoring stands out as a particularly effective space to introduce discussions around mental health, providing a mutually beneficial opportunity for both parties to be listened to and understood.

Wiseup mentors are ready and willing draw upon their own experiences in order to help you navigate challenging paths. Browse our mentors here today to find that support and begin those all-important conversations.

We are also offering free Covid-19 career support for those who have been furloughed, made redundant, or are having difficulty adapting to the new working world.

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