A mentor is defined as a wise and trusted counselor or teacher and also as an influential senior sponsor or supporter. While the term can have different meanings to different people, the underlying theme of mentorship is centered on the concepts of trust, influence and guidance. Earlier this month, President Obama once again proclaimed January to be National Mentoring Month. Partnering with the Harvard School of Public Health, MENTOR and the Corporation for National and Community Service, these organizations use this opportunity to organize a strong media push outlining the importance and benefits of promoting mentorship in our society. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, “mentors, backed by quality mentoring programs, play a powerful role in preventing substance abuse and youth violence, as well as boosting academic achievement and workforce readiness. Studies have shown more than a 250 percent return on a $1 investment in mentoring and a myriad of quality of life benefits to the mentor, too.”
While the larger media campaign is focused on how being a mentor especially benefits the youth of America, we at Destination Hope: The Women’s Program wanted to fine tune the message a bit with regard to how valuable the role of mentoring plays in the realm of substance abuse treatment and prevention.
Why Is Having & Being a Mentor Important to Recovery?
Let’s start with the more obvious of the two which is having a mentor. Having a mentor is critical when navigating one’s way through addiction recovery. Here is an individual to guide and support you through your efforts who has been through everything you’re going through before and more importantly come out the other side. Having someone to relate to, look up to and model your recovery efforts after can prove to be invaluable. Many struggle with understanding why being a mentor to someone battling addiction can be beneficial to their own recovery. Well, take a look at all of recovering addicts who decide their time is best spent working and volunteering with newcomers at substance abuse treatment facilities. For starters, nothing will remind you of how hard you fought to recover from your addiction like mentoring someone in the thick of their fight. It can actually serve as a very prominent part of one’s relapse prevention plan. Constant reminders of where you don’t want to go back to can absolutely bolster your own recovery efforts. Many former addicts also feel happy and fulfilled by “paying it forward” to honor the individuals who served as a mentor to them when they were in treatment.
Destination Hope: The Women’s Program is a full service drug, alcohol and dual diagnosis treatment facility for women in Florida that celebrates the proud tradition of mentorship. If there’s a woman in your life in need of the guidance and support, please don’t hesitate to put her in contact with the kind folks at Destination Hope today. Only by investing in others can we truly invest in our future.