Community guidelines for Mentors and Mentees

Guidelines for being mentored

  1. Once you have signed up with Been There, it is important to recognise what we are and what we are not. This enables us to manage your expectations and deliver on our responsibilities.
  2. It is important to recognise that we are not an emergency service or crisis helpline. There is an SOS button on the top right-hand corner of each page on the app, which signposts you to where you can seek emergency help.
  3. We provide Mentors, to listen, inspire and support you through your personal challenges and issues. We bridge the gap between silence and a counsellor. The Mentor-Mentee relationship is based on relatability, compassion and understanding gained from the Mentor’s individual experiences.
  4. Research shows that it is the transition from one stage of life to another which is the most stressful and daunting. That is why it is so important to clearly identify what you are going through so we can provide you with the best support you need.
  5. The mentorship support is ongoing and accessible though the app. However, because our Mentors are volunteers, they are not available 24/7. We require that you state your preferred hours for connection with your Mentor.
  6. You will be allocated a Mentor who will initiate a conversation with you. 
  7. We have two ultimate and interlinked goals. Firstly, that you benefit from successful, productive and compassionate mentoring. Secondly, that you might consider becoming a Mentor yourself in the future. We are building a nurturing, empowered and supportive community of Mentoring and relationships, which is best enabled by those that have “Been There” themselves.
  8. All conversations are confidential within Been There but are monitored by our Mentor Manager to ensure the right support is being given and there are no safety concerns. If a Mentee is believed to be in imminent danger or a safeguarding issue is raised, the Mentor Manager will share the Mentee’s details with emergency services or appropriate authorities.

It is important to recognise that:

  1. We are not a crisis helpline – there is signposting available for these contacts on the app and on our website.
  2. We will not tolerate any harassment or hateful conduct, including discrimination, hate speech, bullying, or targeted attacks.
  3. We will not tolerate any violation of the service, including spam, scams and catfishing.
  4. Sharing/posting of personal information is illegal and action will be taken.
  5. We do not tolerate the use insulting/offensive language or behaviour.
  6. Been There can only act and respond to the information that is provided by app users. We are not responsible for consequences that results in being given untrue information.

Guidelines for mentors

Before you sign up, just so you are aware, volunteering with Been There App may involve some of the following:

  1. Individuals might ask for your phone number. In order to protect you and the Mentees, all communication must take place on the app.
  2. You must not communicate with a Mentee via any other social media platform or messaging service. 
  3. Mentees might tell you something in strict confidence and if it is life threatening to themselves or anyone else then it is up to you to insist that they tell someone and seek professional help – using the SOS button. It is the Mentor’s duty to report this.
  4. Volunteering with Been There isn’t for everyone, and it is important that before you decide to join as a Mentor, you look at your own mental health and wellbeing. We trust that the below information will help you make an informed decision about applying:
  5. Once you are qualified as a Been There volunteer, you will be supported by a Mentor Manager, who will check in regularly on your own mental health. If at any point you feel you need to give yourself more attention for your own mental health and wellbeing, Been There gives you the opportunity to discontinue for a period of time, until you feel you are in a better position to re-engage.
  6. We will process a DBS check, and two reference checks for all mentors. Mentors must always comply with our Data Protection Policy. We will provide thorough training to all Mentors.
  7.  As a Mentor, you will initiate the chat with the Mentee.  

What volunteering involves

  1. Commitment: Complete 8-12 hours of live online training and assessment. 
  2. Support: You’ll be fully supported as you go through the entire process; by the Been There team.
  3. Learning: Our lessons can be accessed online 24/7 and the sessions are 10-15 minutes long.
  4. Practising: You’ll do roleplays and other assignments to develop your skills.
  5. Once you’ve passed your training course, we ask that you dedicate a minimum of 1 hour a week to an individual (the Mentee).
  6. When you set up your profile, you arrange ‘chat’ times with your Mentee on a weekly basis for 4 months. 
  7. Offering one-to-one non-judgemental support to the Mentees.
  8. Being an active listener, allowing the Mentee to talk through their issues requiring a decision or action.
  9. Not giving advice but by helping the Mentee come to their own conclusions.

Eligibility criteria

  1. You are a resident of the United Kingdom.
  2. You are over 21 years of age.
  3. You can provide two references – one professional and one personal (no family members). We will contact both references, so please do ask for consent.
  4. You must commit to only communicating through the app with the Mentee. You will be asked to sign a declaration as this is a legal requirement and action will be taken if this system is abused.
  5. You are comfortable speaking with more than one Mentee.
  6. You have a reliable data connection through your mobile phone to be able to communicate through the app.
  7. Your current mental health and wellbeing is in a good place, and it wouldn’t be a burden to listen to other people’s challenges.
  8. You are not experiencing serious stress from outside events such as recent significant loss or bereavement, current depression or addiction. If you are experiencing any of these issues, then you need to be able to inform your Mentor Manager in order to get support and discuss how we can help you.
  9. You are aware of your limits and boundaries. Your capacity of care to take on responsibility.

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