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

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

Lesley Douglas Doctoral student, School of Health, University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales, Australia
Debra Jackson Professor of nursing, University of Technology Sydney, Ultimo, New South Wales, Australia
Cindy Woods Senior research fellow, University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales, Australia
Kim Usher Professor of nursing, University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales, Australia

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.

Mental Health Practice. doi: 10.7748/mhp.2019.e1401

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

ldougla7@myune.edu.au

Conflict of interest

None declared

Douglas L, Jackson D, Woods C et al (2019) Peer-to-peer mentoring for and by at-risk young people. Mental Health Practice. doi: 10.7748/mhp.2019.e1401

Funding This study was supported by a scholarship provided by the Australian Government Research Training Programme

Published online: 10 October 2019