At Ascend, many of our facility activities fall on the shoulders of our highly trained mentors for teens. While clients meet with their personal therapist and family therapist, as well as trained facilitators and recreational therapists for group sessions, there is downtime, chores, and daily regimental activities when teens still need to be supervised.
Our mental health mentors are essential to everyday life at Ascend. They connect with our teens and our clinicians to ensure an extra layer of communication and transparency for both. In fact, we believe they form the glue that holds everything together! Learn more about what they do and why they’re so important to us here.
1. On-Site 24/7
We ensure a high ratio of staff to teens to create safety on-site at all times. Whether it’s day or night, there are always multiple mental health mentors available to help with whatever is needed. From monitoring clients when they split into groups for different activities to making sure somebody is there when they wake up from a nightmare, our clients can always rely on mentors for nearly any situation.
All mentors undergo intensive training, and we have protocols in place for situations where outside help is necessary.
2. Diffusing Tense Situations
Clients are in treatment with us for a variety of reasons, many of which require them to confront painful and uncomfortable emotions. We know that teens need to blow off steam in situations where they’re putting in constant work, so our mental health mentors also know exactly how to diffuse all sorts of tense situations.
Some teens have panic attacks over new and unfamiliar types of group sessions. Sometimes, clients simply don’t get along. Others have very specific issues they must overcome before they can even begin treatment. In every situation, our mentors for teens are there to talk clients through their concerns. Our mentors may remind them to do their TIPP skills, do some breathing exercises together, or just provide a listening ear when someone needs to vent.
3. Providing Personal Support
Our mental health mentors are there every day and every hour. They get to know clients on a personal level over the course of treatment, ensuring a professional, targeted response to whatever a client needs in the moment. Mentors get to know preferred foods and activities, everyday moods, and favorite hobbies! They also help reinforce the constructive therapeutic communication styles we teach that are in line with Ascend’s values.
4. Cleaning, Organizing, & Sanitizing
A clean, organized facility is a top priority for Ascend, especially with the concerns related to COVID. Our mental health mentors are also in charge of making sure teens do their chores, teaching them life skills and good hygiene, and finishing up bigger cleanup tasks. You might find mentors sanitizing kitchens and bathrooms, organizing client contraband while it’s in storage, and conducting bedroom checks and safety searches!
5. Searches & Testing
One of the most important jobs our mental health mentors have is conducting body searches and helping facilitate testing. Both of these procedures can feel invasive for our clients, so having someone they trust to walk them through the process ensures teens feel calm and supported. Sometimes, our clients even self-report to our mentors because they’re working to improve and do what’s right.
Our Mental Health Mentors Rock!
Mentors at Ascend have a ton of responsibilities. They have to work as a team to model respectful behavior for clients, earn client trust, and help guide them towards goals set by their therapists throughout the day. We support mentors with ongoing staff development training and frequent check-ins to ensure they have everything they need to get their job done.
If you want to learn more about a day in the life of a mentor, check out this blog about Taylor, our Lead Mentor!