Mentoring Recognised

START is delighted to have been granted the Marion Saunders Excellence in Speech Language Therapy Practice Award for 2015.

This award was established in 1973 and is open to all members of the New Zealand Speech Language Therapy Association (NZSTA) who have had a presentation accepted at the NZSTA Professional Development Symposium.  This two day event is biennially and was held in Christchurch this year.  The award is for an innovative project that has clinical/practice application and impact within the New Zealand context.

START was given the award for our presentation of the Pilot Mentoring Programme for PWS by PWS: Preliminary Evidence.  START developed the Pilot Mentoring Programme in conjunction with Wendy Baker from the New Zealand Coaching and Mentoring Centre (NZCMC).

It is well known that stuttering can have an impact on people’s lives including negatively affecting self-esteem, reducing educational opportunities and limiting occupational progress.  Research suggests that people who stutter may have less social support than others.  Mentoring is a supportive learning relationship which supports an individual to reflect and learn from their experiences.

The Pilot Mentoring Programme examined the effectiveness of formal mentoring for six pairs of people who stutter (PWS).  The mentees were all males in their 20s who were at transition points in their lives.  The mentors were all older males who were identified as having “lived well” with their stutter.  The mentoring pairs met every 3-4 weeks over a six month period and used their sessions to discuss a range of issues.  The mentees were interviewed both before and after the mentoring programme.  Some of the themes that emerged were increased confidence, less anxiety, becoming more open about stuttering and in some cases a changed perspective of stuttering.

The 2015 Programme is underway involving eight pairs of PWS.

Please contact START if you would like to discuss the findings of this research further.