McQuillin, Hagler, Werntz, & Rhodes (2021). Paraprofessional Youth Mentoring: A Framework for Integrating Youth Mentoring with Helping Institutions and Professions. American Journal of Community Psychology.
- We propose a framework for delegating some mental health service tasks to paraprofessional mentors.
- Appropriately scaled, paraprofessionals can reduce the burden of youth’s mental health difficulties.
- With training, a subset of mentors could increase engagement in and deliver mental health services.
- Training, supervision, and documentation of services will be critical to scale.
- Paraprofessional youth mentorship requires research to establish efficacy.
Abstract The demand for child mental health services, including those provided by psychologists, counselors, and social workers, exceeds the supply. This trend is expected to continue or worsen unless there are substantial structural changes in how mental health services are provided. We propose a framework for paraprofessional youth mentors, defined as a subgroup of professionally supervised, non- expert volunteer or paid mentors to whom aspects of professional helping tasks are delegated. Our proposal is aligned with historical and modern solutions to scaling mental health services, and this framework could simultaneously increase the number of youth receiving evidence-based mental health services and reduce the burden on existing systems of care. The framework defines three plausible tasks for paraprofessional mentors: (1) reducing barriers to mental health service, (2) increasing engagement in services, and (3) providing direct services. The safety and effectiveness of these task-shifting efforts will hinge on competency-based training and evaluation, supervision by professionals, and documentation of services rendered, all of which the field of youth mentoring currently lacks. We describe several requisite scientific, institutional, and regulatory advances that will be necessary to realize this
✉ Jean E. Rhodes email@example.com
- 1 Department of Psychology, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA
- 2 Department of Psychology, University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, MA, USA
variant of youth mentoring for a subgroup of youth who are presenting for assistance with mental health problems.
1. Programs connect mentees with mentors through MentorHub.
2. MentorHub prompts mentees to complete validated surveys
3. Mentees are referred to evidence-based solutions
4. Matches connect through secure texts and video chats
MentorHub enables secure, monitored text messaging and video chats between mentees and their mentors. Program staff can text both mentors and mentees through their secure portal.
6. MentorHub offers mentors and programs with comprehensive match oversight
We have found in the pilot that Big Brothers and Big Sisters and Little Brothers and Little Sisters who who connecting through MentorHub are staying more connected to each other. It’s actually providing some depth to the relationship. Young people are getting more comfortable communicating through texting and MentorHub has allowed this very safe space for our Littles to open up about how they’re feeling and what they are experiencing. It gives just the right amount of distance, which really adds richness to the relationship with their mentor and helps their mentor and our staff better support the young person….MentorHub app helped big time…” (Listen to the Podcast)
How are you? Nashville nonprofit to test a new app to let kids answer more honestly
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee is launching MentorHub, which leaders hope will allow “bigs” and “littles” to more easily have conversations that can be tough
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Mass wanted to continue adapting and serving. Earlier this year they partnered with Dr. Jean Rhodes, Director of the Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring at the University of Massachusetts Boston, to work on the MentorHub. MentorHub consists of an app and integrated web dashboard that helps mentors support and track students’ use of the world’s best and scientifically-proven educational and mental health programs. With accountability and a shared dashboard with a mentor, students can really identify and work on areas that are challenges.
Getting kids to close apps like TikTok and instead sign into educational and wellness ones is easier said than done. But Jean Rhodes, a professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston, is on a mission to change that.
MentorHub is an app helping students stay connected to remote learning. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Massachusetts teamed up with clinical psychologists to design technology that’s making the connection between mentors and mentees more personal. Jean Rhodes, professor of psychology at UMass Boston, and Omari Jahi Aarons, a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Massachusetts Mentor 2.0 Program, discuss the importance of the app.
MENTOR (the National Mentoring Partnership) promotes mentoring and offers resources like this, for “youth in the wake of trauma,” and currently a “Mentoring Amplifies” campaign. This Boston-based partnership includes an affiliation with UMass-Boston Professor Jean Rhodes, the Center for Evidence-based Mentoring, and the Chronicle of Evidence-Based Mentoring. Professor Rhodes is the author of Older and Wiser: New Ideas for Youth Mentoring in the 21st Century and Stand by Me: The Risks and Rewards of Mentoring Today’s Youth.
Read more at Meredith.edu
…”One of the organization’s programs, called REACH, supports homeless families. Pardue plans to start a research-based mentorship program for REACH that she will introduce to Meredith in the spring. “Partnering with a Boston-based non-profit called Mentorhub, the program is skill-focused and utilizes apps such as Khan Academy, Intellicare, SuperBetter, and Headspace,” she said. “The REACH homeless children and youth will be matched with a graduate or undergraduate student from a number of the colleges and universities in the area, including Meredith.”