What Makes a Great Mental Health Mentor?

Being a mental health mentor requires the ability to understand a variety of mental illnesses and knowing the best course of treatment for them. By knowing what it takes to be the best mental health mentor to someone, you can help people who are dealing with mental health issues as a result of a wide variety of issues.

Reading up on Mental Health

People with mental health issues often suffer from multiple disorders making it difficult to make a diagnosis. They may be experiencing bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety, depression or some combination of these conditions. When acting as a mental health mentor, is important to recognize whether a person needs professional help or is just looking for someone to talk to. They might need both kinds of support. Becoming educated on mental health disorders can help you determine the best course of action for an individual seeking your help.

Understanding the Process of Providing Support 

Providing support to people with mental health disorders can be a complex undertaking. There are no easy or permanent fixes. It is generally best to provide coaching and support that will help a person better manage their condition rather than trying to cure it. The best approach is to provide continual support including frequent check-ins and attempts to keep an open line of dialogue.


Providing support requires not just a listening ear, but active engagement in a conversation. Asking follow-up questions and paying careful attention to what an individual will help you determine whether a particular issue needs to be pursued and whether there are deeper, underlying factors that need attention. Paying attention to important points that come up in a conversation can help you probe deeper when the opportunity presents itself.

Opening Up

The most important step to being a mental health mentor is encouraging a dialogue and sharing personal experiences that may create connection and trust. Men tend to hide their emotions in order to protect their masculinity. Showing someone your vulnerable side, will cultivate a culture of safety that will help an individual share more freely. Being a mental health mentor means being understanding of what a person is going through and being patient in learning how to treat it.


Having a mental health mentor can be an important part of achieving sustained recovery. They can develop an understanding of your struggles and help you develop the best course of action for getting and staying well. At Alta Loma Transitional Living, you will be surrounded by well-trained mentors and counselors who will provide you with the support you need to attain emotional and psychological stability. Our all-male program, located in Georgetown, Texas offers a comprehensive array of tools to suit your unique needs. We offer life skills training, medication management, care coordination with medical professionals, nutrition planning and more in a collegial environment that will help you increase your confidence and embark on a journey to healthy independence.  Call us at (866) 457-3843 to learn more. Our knowledgeable, compassionate staff are standing by to help you begin your journey to a more fulfilling life.