Green ribbons signifying world mental health day

Mental Health and The Positive Impacts Of Mentoring


Did you know, that October 10th is recognised around the world as ‘Mental Health’ day?

By talking and having open conversations on the subject of mental health – be that with family, friends or workmates, we can work towards reducing the current stigma or isolation that those with poor mental health, face.

Did you also know, that mentoring has been proven to reduce anxiety and build confidence among mentees? In fact, the Mental Health Foundation lists mentoring as an effective solution to reduce poor mental health.

As discussed in our previous mentoring introduction blog, mentoring is all about an advisor, the mentor, helping another person – the mentee. If we look at the history of mentoring, we can see that from very early on in the world – a mentor was thought of as someone who supports and guides another person, in the right direction.

There are many benefits of mentoring, which is why this act of personal development continues to grow in popularity with schools, universities, and workplace settings – but for this blog, let’s take a look at the positive impacts of mentoring on wellbeing and mental health, specifically.


Hope for the future and the benefit of learning new skills

A mentoring programme is a great way to motivate employees to gain new skills and knowledge.

We’ve all felt overwhelmed or challenged at some point in our careers; a mentor can help alleviate these feelings significantly. Every employee has different strengths and weaknesses, which mentors can help them identify.

Work-life balance issues, work overload, and self-doubt are some of the most common workplace challenges. These issues frequently cause employees to feel depressed and concerned; mentors can work alongside the mentee, identifying their weaknesses and strengths and encouraging them to learn ways to help manage these concerns. Learning is essential at any stage of ones career development, with new skills making us feel accomplished and more competent in the workplace.

As a mentor helps someone work towards achievable goals and accelerates their progress, they can reduce these anxieties and instill hope and optimism around the future.


Combat isolation, through meaningful mentoring relationships

Particularly after countless COVID lockdowns, many of us understand how it feels to be isolated. However, some individuals who live with mental health problems have dealt with this feeling long before the pandemic and continue to do so.

The act of mentoring gives mentees (and mentors!), time for discussion, socialisation, reflection and at times can even include forms of creative reflection study, such as creating journals.

A mentoring programme can provide a support system which allows for conversations and trusting connections to be built. A mentor is someone employees can talk with in confidence, with a level or respect and trust – this means that mentoring relationships can make employees feel less alone.


Increase self confidence

Low self-esteem and a lack of confidence can affect how people feel about themselves and their abilities. This can have a negative impact on mental health and influence an individual’s decisions. For example, individuals with low confidence may be more likely to miss out on work opportunities such as applying for promotions, due to self-doubt. Through mentoring, mentors can encourage and adapt the way that an individual talks or thinks about themselves, which can improve self-esteem and confidence.

Throughout our lives, particularly in education or workplace settings, we can find ourselves bothered by self-doubt or suffering imposter syndrome – by having a mentor on your side, this can help navigate you through these feelings by prompting discussion on confidence-based goals and how to achieve these through smaller, actionable steps.

Mentees are often reported to have seen an increase in their self-confidence, due to feeling supported in their decisions.


Lessen feelings of anxiety, through new perspective

Anxiety is a common mental health problem that affects a large number of people. Anxiety at work has the ability to significantly impact on overall well-being and performance, especially when it targets beliefs about one’s own abilities.

Feeling anxious about making decisions or a particular piece of work, may cause delays in completion and further feelings of imposter syndrome. Having a mentor to whom you can express your feelings and concerns can help to alleviate anxious feelings and doubt.

Mentors can introduce their mentees to new perspectives that challenge any limiting beliefs and assist them in developing new mindsets.


Final thoughts on the impact of mentoring, on mental health

It is clear to see that mentoring can have a positive impact on self-confidence, self-belief, motivation and isolation. Building a positive mentoring relationship between mentees and mentors, and even larger groups of mentees where the programme involves a number of participants – can assist with a range of mental health concerns.

If you would like to find out more about world mental health day and how you can spread awareness, visit the official website.

If you would like to discuss your mentoring programme and how sfG MentorNet can help you to streamline your processes, you can reach out to the team.


A cartoon world, wrapped in the green ribbon signifying world mental health day