Natasha and Maks have not only helped my son, who was smoking a lot of pot, to quit smoking completely, but they also created stability, support, and care in his life when it was most needed. Having a young adult in college is challenging for parents and without Youth Prevention Mentors, my son’s path could have spiraled to a place of no return.
I found the Youth Prevention Mentors to be an invaluable resource in facilitating communication between me and my teenage son. As a parent, so much of my advice about drugs, alcohol, partying, social pressures, and other risky behaviors fell on deaf ears. Having Maks as a mediator was a huge help because he functioned as a relatable role model that my son felt comfortable listening and talking to. Being a peer that was somewhat close in age to my son, Maks was able to get through to him about the dangers of substance abuse in a way that I never could. Working with their team made me feel that my son would be better able to navigate his transition from teenager to young adult in a healthy and responsible way.
I booked Natasha and Maks to speak to my circle of friends with children between 11 and 17 years old. The main strengths of the Youth Prevention Mentors are the real facts they present; they were up to date with statistics and current information. We learned the importance of prevention, how to talk to our kids about peer pressure, and discuss the outcomes of addiction. It was an amazing and informative discussion—one of the best I've experienced.
Hi Natasha, I wanted to give you an update. [NAME REDACTED] seems to be doing very well. He is still not smoking and we are working on the other issues. I really appreciate you and Maks being able to step in so quickly. I think how we reacted and addressed the situation immediately did a lot to help [NAME REDACTED] move past those difficult first couple of weeks and get to this point.
As a psychotherapist who specializes in working with young adults; I listen to experiences of disconnection, achievement pressures, and social anxiety in a young persons life. This is a dangerous experimentation zone; as many teens look to their peers for direction, validation and a sense of belonging. Parents are often described as intrusive and people who would not understand. Feeling understood and heard is a primary prevention measure in helping adolescents. This is where Maks and Natasha have been a pivotal adjunct service to my private practice.
The Youth Prevention Mentors, like Maks, provide a unique connection with a teen that allows them to confide with a relatable person who is sensitive to their challenges and helpful in navigating the risks in certain behaviors. Additionally, YPM provides an education to parents ,through workshops and private meetings, that help parents learn how to listen, support and communicate with their teens. I only wish there was a YPM program in place when my son went through his adolescence addiction years. I am grateful, as a parent and professional, to have YPM in my tool box as a referral service.