NAMI Gainesville Youth Mentoring Program – Can We Help Your Family?
We are proud to announce that our youth mentoring program is now fully operational. During the month of May, more than 20 new mentors received orientation and are ready to start helping children and teens with mental health concerns.
The Alachua County Children’s Trust is funding this project. Intervening early, when mental health troubles are just starting, can make a huge difference in the outcomes with youth. Our mentors may be NAMI peers, NAMI family members, or professionals, but all use lived experience to support their mentee in finding their strengths, finding their purpose, and working towards their chosen life goals.
Mentoring could include conversations over Zoom or the telephone or in person (with social distancing). It can also include doing community service activities or field trips or sports or picnics together. Our funding can cover occasional outings like skating or bowling or lunch in a restaurant. Our NAMI Gainesville mentoring program is unique in that it is whatever the mentee (and their family) want it to be. AND even though the youth funding ends when the teen turns 19, they can continue with their same mentor if they like as an adult mentee. Mentoring can go on as long as the mentee and family would like.
Ultimately, our goal is that every youth mentee grows up to be able to mentor someone else. Peers in recovery can make powerful mentors because they understand what a person with a mental illness is going through. They have walked in those shoes. As adult peer mentors, they can model how to manage their symptoms and live their best lives.
If you have a child or teen (age 6-18) in your family that could benefit from this mentoring program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (352) 320-0457 to get started. Or you can just fill out the referral form, permission slip, and the youth interest form. You can find PDF versions these to download on our Forms page. Please complete and send all three via email or mail to: PO Box 158703, Gainesville FL 32635.