The Counselling Centre
“Peer support is a system of giving and receiving help founded on key principles of respect, shared responsibility, and mutual agreement of what is helpful. Peer support is not based on psychiatric models and diagnostic criteria. It is about understanding another’s situation empathically through the shared experience of emotional and psychological pain.”
(Mead, Hilton & Curtis, 2001, p. 135)
What is Peer Support?
Peer Support happens in a relationship between people who have experiences in common. This could be a mental illness, stress or anxiety, a difficult time in life, or university adjustment. Peer Supporters offer their fellow students emotional and social support as they too have struggled. This support is grounded in hope, empowerment, and recovery.
Peer Support focuses on health and recovery rather than on illness and disability. Supporters can help individuals move towards a greater sense of self-confidence and wellbeing.
All students are welcome to visit a Peer Supporter during drop-in hours. Peer Support can be an additional resource from students already seeking treatment as well as a safe, confidential space for students to talk to a trained peer.
Who are my Peer Supporters?
Peer Supporters are students who have experience dealing with mental health concerns. These students are trained within the Stay Connected Mental Health Project and The Counselling Centre to support their peers through active listening, goal-setting, and resource referral. As students, Supporters understand how stressful university life can be. Peer Supporters are here to help with a lot of mental health concerns including managing stress, coping strategies, relationship problems, and referrals to other important resources.
When will the Peer Supporters start working?
The Peer Supporters will be available starting on Wednesday, September 5, 2018.
How can I see a Peer Supporter?
Peer Support is a free, confidential, drop-in service located on the first floor of the Student Centre (Room 106) in The Wellness Centre.
To contact a Peer Supporter, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peer Support is not an emergency service. For Saint Mary’s University students requiring immediate assistance, please contact Morneau Shepell at 1-855-649-8641.