“Mentoring has helped me become a more social and confident person” 

When 12 year old Yasha* started started working with her mentor, Sarah, she was feeling very low and struggled to leave her room. This was having a big impact on her and her family. She was very withdrawn and her relationship with her parents was at breaking point. This is her story.

My name is Yasha, and I am almost 13 years old. I like English, mainly because I really like my English teachers. I like writing and stuff, but I hate reading. If it was just a script or something I wouldn’t mind it, but if it’s a whole book I just cannot sit down… I used to read a lot, but now I just get distracted.   

When I would be talking to my mum about what I was going to be doing with my mentor Sarah, I was like “can we just stay at home?”  

The day before I met Sarah I was so sad for some reason. So, when she came the next day I was just sitting in the middle of the couch, so sad, my hair was all messy…. and mum was like, “this is going to be your new mentor”. And the whole time, Sarah was smiling. I felt kind of uncomfortable at first because I was thinking ‘why is she smiling so much?’ but then she started speaking and I was like ‘Oh, she’s a kind person’. 

My favourite part of mentoring was making memories. I enjoyed the littlest things the most, such as going on a walk, going to a cafe or a shopping mall, and making inside jokes. I think most of the time I could not figure out where I wanted to go, so Sarah was like “let’s just go on a walk”. And usually, I don’t want to go on a walk with my mum because we always have a destination. But when I walked with Sarah we didn’t really know where to go exactly, so we just walked. I really liked that. 

Mentoring has helped me become a more social and confident person, as before I used to be very shy and introverted. I use my mentor’s advice which really helped me discover who I am as an individual person and to be proud of myself. Plus, it has helped me think about what I want to be when I am older. At first I was like “I want to be a flight attendant” because I had no idea what I wanted to be. But to be fair, I’m literally 12, so there’s no rush. But then Sarah was like, “but if you’re a travel writer, you get to explore way more. If you’re a flight attendant, you have to stay in the hotel close to the airport”. So, I was like “oh, I’m going to be a travel writer”. 

I feel like so many families, who have children who are struggling, keep refusing help – thinking that everything’s OK. But I’m glad my parents didn’t ignore it. Actually, at first I hated it all, but then I’m glad they actually took a moment to see how my mental health was not okay. And then they made it better. I feel like in our culture, people don’t really talk about mental health as much. And people are just so secretive because the gossip goes everywhere. And it’s been so hard because so much stuff from my life has gone to everyone.

I feel like for any other families who are struggling with the same thing, Chance UK would be great for them because instead of just keeping it all in the family you can get support. 

*Names and images have been changed to protect privacy

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