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Why mentoring provides hope to the generation moulded by Covid

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Why mentoring provides hope to the generation moulded by Covid

A new report shows that students thrive when they feel safe, supported and valued in their learning environment.

The report, conducted by the Raise Foundation, is based on evaluation research involving 2,088 young people and their parents, 1,932 Raise mentors, and 162 schools across six states who ran the organisation’s mentoring program.

Offering crucial youth mental health insights, the survey’s findings demonstrate why mentoring provides hope to the generation moulded by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Raise Data and Youth Insights Director, Lucy Snowball, whose team conducted the research believes Australians need to take note of the findings:

“The data doesn’t lie. Young people’s wellbeing has been greatly impacted by the negative events of the past few years,” Snowball said.

“However, research tells us that students who feel safe, supported and valued in their learning environment can thrive. Ninety-eight percent of students in our program feel safe talking to a mentor and 94% feel supported by their Raise program Counsellor.”

Snowball said the importance of consistently showing up for young people is widely recognised.

“Students who are supported by a trusted adult in the form of a Raise mentor every week for six months report improvements in statistically significant outcome areas.”

What’s going on for young people?

In the research pool of over 2,000 young people from Raise in school programs around Australia, 84% started the program with at least one mental health issue such as anxiety, bullying and disordered eating. However, by the end of the Raise youth mentoring program, 77% of mentees said the program specifically helped them cope with these issues.

“Talking my feelings out helped with my eating disorder, and the constant worry of having an outburst of anxiety or emotions, and it’s helped me regulate how I’m feeling instead of just feeling numb.”*

“The best thing about mentoring was feeling in a safe space, and being able to talk about whatever I wanted, and form a bond with a trusted adult.”*

What is the difference a mentor makes?

Once a bond of trust is formed between the mentee and mentor because of the mentor showing up week on week, committing fully to their mentee, the magic begins. Raise mentors equip young people with skills and resources to support their mental health and wellbeing.

Raise’s comprehensive evaluation monitors positive transformation in four key outcome areas to prove and improve on the impact the program makes:

  • Asking for help: Trusting adults who can help and Knowledge of where to get that help
  • Resilience: Confidence and Coping strategies 
  • Hope for the future: Ability to set and achieve goals, Awareness of capabilities
  • School engagement: Better relationships and Academic confidence

In Raise’s Evaluation 2022 Report, 86% of mentees improved in at least one of the four key outcome areas.

Notably, the research shows statistically significant improvements in mentee’s hope for the future, which buffers against stress, anxiety and suicidality. Hope improves problem solving and goal setting. It means mentees are better able to cope with challenges that arise. Hope improved for 54% of all mentees and 71% for those who needed it most.

“The biggest change for me is that I feel more confident in myself and the outcomes that may come my way in life and I now believe that I can succeed my life goals.”*

Young people anxious about Covid-19 saw a statistically significant increase in resilience across the program with 44% feeling less anxious about Covid after being in the Raise program. In addition, 69% of parents surveyed felt mentoring helped their child deal with Covid-19 related impacts:

“Loved that my daughter was able to receive extra support through a difficult transition in the year post lockdowns and back to in person schooling full time.”**

The ripple effect of Raise youth mentoring extends beyond the young person, their parents and mentors to the broader school community. A massive 93% of schools thought Raise’s program helped build both individual and collective wellbeing in the school environment.

“The Raise mentoring program provided wonderful support for some of our vulnerable students. This weekly time with a mentor gave them someone to speak to and gave them the experience of feeling valued, respected and heard. I feel privileged to be able to offer this wonderful program at our school.”***

 

*Actual words from a young person in Raise’s 2022 Youth Mentoring Program

**Actual quote from a parent of a young person in Raise’s 2022 Youth Mentoring Program

*** Actual quote from a school contact about the program

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