Life is full of possibilities, but it doesn’t always turn out as we plan, and is not always fair; it can be confusing and scary, particularly for the young. Not everyone is lucky enough to have the support and affirmation they need when making the decisions that will enable them to live their best lives. As a Young Minds Matter mentor, it is my privilege to work with schools to offer this support.

Mainly mentoring teenagers, I have encountered challenges ranging from self-harm and gender dysphoria to social anxiety and workload stress. My mentees often have to deal with circumstances and relationships at home or at school that will either strengthen or break them depending on how they respond. I try to help them understand their uniqueness and intrinsic value as people and identify the resources and choices that will help them grow through, and hopefully enjoy, these formative years.