Student Mentor, Lucy Kelly, currently studies MSc Counselling & Psychotherapy: Contemporary Creative Approaches 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 chose to be an TtB mentor because I didn’t want to miss out on such an exciting and rewarding experience whilst studying. It was also helpful to have a paid opportunity whilst studying at a Master’s level.
What is it you enjoy about being a TtB mentor?
I enjoy seeing the pupils come out of their shells, it is so lovely to build relationships with them over the school year and see their confidence grow. I also like being an advocate for positive mental health – it’s encouraging being someone that a pupil can speak to, can rely on when they’re experiencing hardship.
Has TtB contributed to your own mental health literacy?
Absolutely. I’ve learned much more about Mental Health Literacy, support and coping mechanisms through teaching others. I thought I was quite clued up before starting the placement, but I’ve learned a lot more through teaching other, preparing for the lessons and activities.
Do you think TtB has contributed to your employability, if so, how?
Yes – having never worked with children before, and having never worked a role in a school, this opportunity has expanded my skillset and increased my confidence in both fields.
My confidence has grown; my leadership skills, dependability, understanding and my interpersonal skills, too.
What have you learnt during your time as a Ttb student mentor?
I’ve learned a lot about myself. I never thought I’d be teaching pupils across different schools. If you told me a year ago that I’d be doing that, there’s no way I’d have believed you! Through Tackling the Blues I’ve learned that if I put my energy in the right place, I can do anything, and this has been really freeing.
Have you been involved in any of the TtB research?
I have only been involved in the distribution and helping with the questionnaires within the classroom. I wish I could have been more involved with the data entry side of the questionnaires but I was not available when the opportunity was offered to us.
Would you recommend TtB to other students?
Yes. But I would tell them it can sometimes be more of a teaching position than a mentoring position given the size of some of the classrooms. This is not a downside, just may be off-putting to certain people.
In terms of experience, this has been a really rewarding and encouraging position for me – I just wish I could have done it for longer!
What are your plans after TtB?
After TtB I am hopefully continuing with studying, going into the second year of my course. I have been looking at full time work within the mental health field to potentially take a year out to fund the second year.