News and Events
Youth mentoring as a supportive resource for young people in CAMHS: An exploratory studyDate Released: 25 November 2022
Foróige and the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, University of Galway were joined by Minister Mary Butler for the launch of new research titled “Youth mentoring as a supportive resource for young people in CAMHS: An exploratory study”.
The research, which was launched in Buswells Hotel explores the mentoring experiences of young people referred to Foróige’s Big Brother Big Sister mentoring programme from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). The research also explores the value of mentoring from the perspective of young people, parents, mentors and staff involved.
Report author Dr Charlotte Silke says “Findings from the study suggest that mentoring can act as a supportive resource for young people involved with CAMHS. Young people from CAMHS who were paired with an adult volunteer from Foróige’s Big Brother Big Sister programme reported developing trusting, empathic friendships with their mentors. Participants believed these relationships were beneficial and helped the young people to have more confidence, develop greater coping skills, and become more outgoing and independent’’.
The study found that the mental health benefits for young people involved in youth mentoring are significant. Seven key benefits were identified which are improved relationships & social skills, greater functioning and independence, more confidence, enhanced mood and positive affect, improved coping and wellbeing, stronger self-identity and increased engagement.
The launch brought together TDs, Senators, staff from the HSE, young people, parents, guardians, mentors and study participants, where the findings were presented by Dr Charlotte Silke (University of Galway) and were launched by Mary Butler T.D., Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People.
Minister Mary Butler commented, “Today’s report is most timely and welcome, and I thank everyone involved for their assistance to help identify improved options around mentoring for young people involved with CAMHS. The Big Brother Big Sister programme plays an important role in our communities and I look forward to seeing the impact of further cooperation between Foróige and HSE CAMHS. Developing all aspects of mental health care remains a priority for me, and for Government. We are seeing good progress being made on implementation of Sharing the Vision, underpinned by the record funding for mental health and suicide prevention given in the recent Budget.”
Speaking at the launch, Barbara Daly, Chairperson of Foróige, said “I very much welcome this research and the hugely valuable and impressive set of findings. Behind each of these findings is an individual young person, with an individual story and an individual struggle. These young people are at the heart of what Foróige and the Big Brother Big Sister Programme are all about. We provide them with support, based on their individual needs and challenges, in a way that is both practical and powerful. I'm very grateful to Dr. Charlotte Silke and the team in the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, University of Galway for their hard work and dedication to this research and we are delighted to continue to partner with CAMHS in the support of young people.”
The research paper and findings can be viewed on the University of Galway and Foróige websites from today, see universityofgalway.ie or foroige.ie.
Silke, C., and Brady, B. (2022). Youth mentoring as a supportive resource for young people involved with CAMHS: An exploratory study. Galway: UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, University of Galway.