Student Mentor, Lauren Dearing, currently studies MSc Contemporary Creative Approaches to Counselling and Psychotherapy at Edge Hill University. Read her case study as to why she became a Tackling the Blues mentor.
Why did you choose to be a TtB mentor?
I applied for the role because it provided me with a consistent paid income as well as covering my placement hours for the first year of my MSc. I have worked in schools for over 10 years have seen, daily, the mental health struggles that young people are going through and believe that education around mental health and how to cope with the challenging aspects of life can really help.
What is it you enjoy about being a TtB mentor?
I enjoyed building relationships with the students – it was a really rewarding role. Often you would come into a school and the students would have stories to tell you about utilising the skills they were learning with you and how it had helped them through a situation; which made it feel like you were really having an impact.
Has TtB contributed to your own mental health literacy?
I think all interactions that you have which involve talking about mental health with new people will benefit your learning and understanding, because everyone will experience things differently and have their own stories to tell.
Do you think TtB has contributed to your employability, if so, how?
I think there will be benefits to my employability from TtB – the connections with Everton and Tate are helpful as they are such important parts of the local community. The creative side of the mentoring that I was doing also provides an extra layer on top of the work experience I had from previous mentoring roles.
What have you learnt during your time as a Ttb student mentor?
I have learnt that a lot about young people’s perspectives on mental health and what it means to them. They have been inspirational in some of their thinking and it’s made me look at the things with a fresh perspective.
Have you been involved in any of the TtB research?
I have gone to the sessions with Rachel and Aston, which I guess is being involved? I haven’t done any interviews with students or data entry though.
Would you recommend TtB to other students?
I would – I think it’s a valuable programme for all involved.
What are your plans after TtB?
I am going into my second year of my MSc in which I will be doing my clinical practice hours. I have spoken briefly with Phil about potentially staying on with TtB whilst I complete my studies.