Peer-to-peer mentoring for and by at-risk young people

Lesley Douglas, Debra Jackson, Cindy Woods, Kim Usher

Research output: Contribution to journalOther Journal Articlepeer-review


Background Mentoring is recognised as an important modality in helping others to manage negative events, overcome trauma and encourage personal growth.

Aim To explore the motivations sustaining previously recognised at-risk young people to provide mentoring to their at-risk peers.

Method Twelve previously recognised at-risk young people who volunteer in a peer-to-peer mentoring programme were interviewed using a semi-structured interview format guided by narrative inquiry.

Findings An overarching theme of making a difference was identified, as well as three subthemes: using their experience to help others, initiating change through peer interactions and inspiring the healing journey.

Conclusion Previously recognised at-risk young people have the motivation and ability to effectively provide mentoring to their at-risk peers; the commonality of experience helps them to form a reciprocal relationship borne out of trauma. Mental health practitioners need to consider whether peer mentoring programmes can be incorporated into traditional mental health services.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-27
Number of pages8
JournalMental Health Practice
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes


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