Mental Health Association of Orange County - Project Together
Mental Health Association/MHA-Project Together Mentor Program OverviewFunded by the Mental Health Services Act (Proposition 63) and contracted through the County of Orange Health Care Agency, whom is responsible for program oversight, the Mental Health Association of Orange County-Project Together (MHA-PT) program was created to provide mentor services exclusively to clients and families being served by the County of Orange Health Care Agency-Children and Youth Services (HCA-CYS) and its contract programs.
Currently MHA-PT provides mentor services to school aged HCA-CYS clients ages 5-15, transitional-age youth 16-25, and the parents or care providers of any youth being served through HCA-CYS.
The matching process begins when the youth's therapist determines that a mentor will assist in their clients overall treatment plan and goal. Therapists may request mentors by completing a form that provides information about the child and also about the type of mentor they would like matched with the client, i.e., cultural similarities, age, gender, etc.
An MHA-PT mentor is a volunteer that is trained to serve as a non-clinical member of the child's treatment team and helps to facilitate the therapeutic process by providing consistent and non-judgmental support to the client and his/her family. Mentors serve as a positive role models; assist the child to develop an improved sense of self; help to promote appropriate social skills, and work to enrich the child's life through involvement and participation in recreational, educational and cultural activities within the community.
By adopting the "whatever it takes" approach, MHA-PT believes that children and youth that are matched with a mentor may experience:
- Increased self-esteem
- Improved interaction with family and friends
- Improved grades and school attendance
- An increased chance of reduction of out of home placement and incarceration
- Reduced risk of substance abuse
To insure the success of the mentor-mentee relationship it is important that a partnership is formed between the mentor, the clinician and the parent/care giver whose collective goal will be to assist the child.
Mentor Eligibility Requirements
- Be at least 18 years old
- Reside in Orange County
- Have a good driving record, reliable automobile and proof of auto insurance
- Commit to a minimum of six months with the mentee
- Be willing to meet regularly with the clients therapist
- Have good judgment/listening/communication skills
- Be non-judgmental and patient
- Pass a criminal and driving history background screen
- Provide personal reference information
- Complete a one-hour face to face interview
- Complete 3.5 hours of training prior to being matched with a client
Mentors are supported throughout their commitment by the MHA-Project Together Mentor Coordinator and the client's therapist.
We strive to make the mentor-mentee experience rewarding for the child and the mentor.
If you have further questions please contact our offices at (714) 836-0355