Because we did not become who we are, alone
Mentoring involves a relationship between two people (usually younger/older but not always.). It involves providing time, attention, activities, and conversation; all interactions crucial to the younger, developing mind.
Who we are as individuals is influenced by a number of social factors, including both adverse and positive experiences. Some stress is important, but too much stress and uncertainty can create toxic stress and become a barrier to mental, emotional and physical health. Over time, research on human development has helped us understand the assets and the risks required to thrive; to become a person who can keep going in the face of challenging times, and often accomplish remarkable things in the face of hardship and become change-makers.
Decades of research now shows that social relationships are crucial for our health, not only as young people, but throughout our entire lives. The support of our friendships, parents, partners, and mentors help us nurture the strength to resist and overcome adversities and make choices that positively influence oneself and future.
We are gaining more knowledge all the time that mental health issues, addiction, and conduct issues almost always trace back to people who have not had the privileges of social belonging or a feeling of mastery. These two fundamental domains – of feeling like part of a group, and have a particular skill and ability to share with others are the cornerstones of health.