ABH Maryland

The Best Benefits of Youth Mentoring Programs


The Best Benefits of Youth Mentoring Programs

  • Children Mental Health
  • Mental Health

As the adage goes, “it takes a village” to raise a good human. While parents, guardians, and school communities significantly impact a child’s well-being, additional resources can also be pivotal in creating good mental health for young people. This article will explore the benefits of youth mentoring programs in the mental health space, including The Greater Maryland Youth Therapeutic Mentor Program offered here at Advanced Behavioral Health.

By design, many youth mentoring programs assist with a child’s daily functioning. For example, our services at Advanced Behavioral Health include the following:

  • Personalized assessment plans.
  • Group activities.
  • Personal and family intervention.
  • Parent skills instruction.
  • Treatment planning.
  • Educational and vocational skills.

Our program provides services based on desired goals and identified behavior problems. From anger management, healthy peer relationships, self-esteem, enhanced school performance, and taking personal ownership, when necessary, there are tools and resources to assist with the many mental health challenges affecting young people today

Since Covid, young people have seen a rise in mental health challenges. From social struggles to suffering from mental health illness, young people need help now more than ever before.

Benefits of Youth Mentoring Programs in the Mental Health Space

Individualized attention. Most mentorship programs are between one mentor and one mentee and therefore offer the mentee personal attention to work through their specific challenges. In a classroom or family setting, kids can sometimes get lost in the shuffle of their peers and siblings. Mentorship programs allow one person to focus solely on one child at a time.

Helping the child feel seen. Introducing a child to a mentor can often be the first time they feel genuinely seen and validated for their experiences. Struggling with mental health can feel incredibly lonely and debilitating, especially as a child, so pairing someone with a mentor can help them feel supported in their journey.

Offering tangible tools. One of the best things about mentorship programs is that the mentee receives concrete tools to help with their issues. Mentorship programs go past the art of listening and towards the art of implementing changes that lead to personal growth for the child.

Reminding children, they are not alone. Because the child knows they are not the only person in the mentorship program, they can understand that many children their age also struggle with mental health issues and that doing so is entirely normal. It helps them avoid feeling separated from their community.

Teaching children to seek out help. By showing up to a mentoring program, a child learns that there are resources to help them throughout their life and that there is nothing wrong with asking for help during challenging times. This assurance sets the stage for the rest of their lives to feel comfortable when reaching out for guidance, whether to a mentor, doctor, therapist, or friend.

The Greater Maryland Youth Therapeutic Mentor Program

Advanced Behavioral Health offers The Greater Maryland Youth Therapeutic Mentor Program for children ages 5-18. First, one of our Therapeutic Mentors (TM’s) will meet with their assigned mentee, assess their individual needs, and develop a customized service plan to identify their short and long-term goals in collaboration with the parent, guardian, or therapist.

Our mission is to empower youth to develop and enhance life skills and to assist in making positive, successful decisions that impact the youth’s home, school, health, and community life. Our services include individualized assessment plans, group activities, individual and family intervention, parent skills training, treatment planning, and educational and vocational skills.

Contact Us Today

At Advanced Behavioral Health, we care about your mental health and general well-being, so we encourage you to reach out to us to learn more about our programming. Visit our website here or call us at 301-345-1022.

When you think of the well-being of a child, you first think of basic needs: food, water, and shelter. Once these needs are met, however, it’s crucial for a child to have emotional and social wellness as well. In this article, we will explore the impact social wellness has on the overall health of a child and great ways for children to garner social support in their lives.

It comes as no surprise that as human beings, we all need connection with others, no matter what stage of life we are in. In fact, having social support is a social determinant of health (SDOH) that significantly impacts the health of an individual. After spending the last few years in and out of isolation due to the Covid-19 outbreak, social support is more important now than ever before. Having social support means having family members and friends you can talk to and seek advice from when life feels challenging and overwhelming. Knowing you’re not alone in your life journey, especially as a child, creates a sense of belonging and empowerment throughout one’s life.

4 Types of Social Support

Emotional Support. This type of support lets you know that people care about you and have empathy for your experiences. Emotional support often looks like people checking in on you to let you know they’re thinking of you, and that they are there if you need anything. As a parent, make sure your child knows you can be a sounding board for them. If you have family members who can also show up for your children in this way, even better!

Practical Help. This type of support is when people give you something tangible or offer a service to help you out. This could be in the form of money, making food when you are sick, or helping to pack when moving. Having family and friends show up in this way shows your child what it looks like to be present for people you love.

Sharing Points of View. This type of support can often come in the form of affirmations and encouragement. For example, pointing out your child’s strengths to them and reminding them they can do anything they put their mind to. It can also look like sharing another perspective if they are being hard on themselves. For example, if they are angry with themselves after receiving a bad grade on a test, you can help them see it as a learning experience and a way for them to grow.

Sharing Information. This type of support is when someone shares what they’ve learned from their own life experiences. For example, if another parent has a child who struggles with socializing, they can share some tips and tricks they’ve learned to help their child find and create social support.

The Importance of Social Groups and Extended Support

Children who are connected to their family, friends, and people in their community have opportunities to learn how to speak, share, and get along with others. When your child feels connected to people in your neighborhood, it often allows them to feel physically safe which can alleviate stress and worry. Simply riding bikes, going on walks, and saying hello to neighbors with your kids can create this sense of security for them.

In addition to engaging with your neighbors, getting involved in local organizations can also create social support for your child. Signing up for a sports team, musical theater, art class or summer camp are all great ways to help your child meet new friends and learn important social skills that can carry them through their lives.

Tips for Helping Kids Make Community Connections:

Spend time outside in your neighborhood playing on the playground, going to a local farmer’s market, or scheduling a playdate with neighborhood kids.

Show your kids that connection is a two-way street. If your neighbors or friends go out of town, offer to get their mail, or water their plants and take your child with you when you go. This will show your child how you show up for people you care about.

Make sure you make time for socializing with friends as well. Your child looks to you first and foremost for how they should act and live their own life.

Encourage your child to step out of their comfort zone and do something they may be scared to do. As a parent, it’s your job to push them into something social for their own well-being at times.