Specialist Mental Health Mentor – Noreen Wainwright
I am a specialist mentor at Staffordshire University, I have been in the role for the last five years, having originally trained as a psychiatric nurse. I work with and support students with a range of mental health issues and I see a variety of students who want to use their time with me – usually 1 or 2 hours a week – in very different ways.
Students see me as someone they can form a supportive relationship with outside of their personal and subject tutors. The role sometimes sees me acting in an advocacy role working as a bridge between students, tutors and their faculty; I work with learners to set action plans so that they can organise themselves and their time efficiently; I work with students to help them cope with anxiety issues, especially during exam and assessment times. I also support learners on a weekly basis who may have more significant mental health issues such as depression.
I describe it as ‘pulling, rather than pushing’, it a very unique and rewarding role and I love doing it as I really do feel I am making a difference.
What my students say:
“It stops me from giving up. On bad days, my mentor can make me see the positives even when I feel the opposite that the world is caving in on top of me.”
“It feels like having a friend by your side seeing you through both good days and bad days.”
“Mentoring played a very important part in my life during my academic time at university.”