Peer Supporters at Keele are a group of trained student volunteers who can offer confidential mental health support to their fellow students.
- Peer support is when people use their own experiences to help each other.
- It’s available to students who have specific issues which are worrying them, but which don’t need professional mental health or counselling intervention.
- You can use peer support to talk about issues such as difficulties making friends, anxiety, stress, isolation, homesickness, and much more. If you are having difficulties academically, you can also talk to Peer Mentors for further support.
- Peer Supporters provide you with a listening ear. They can meet with you for a coffee and a chat, or chat remotely. It can be really useful to have someone to listen to you without judgement or opinion, and peer support can provide you with this. Having peer support can help build your confidence and autonomy.
- In your first meeting with your Peer Supporter, you can talk about why you’ve accessed the service and, together, set some goals for what you’d like the outcome to be, or what you’d like to change or improve.
- Peer Supporters can provide options or information you may not have, and help talk through what it is you want to do. They can provide you with wellbeing activities to clarify how you’re feeling, what you’re thinking, or which will support wellbeing.
- Peer Supporters can, with agreement, attend first meetings of societies etc. with you, to help you if you’re shy or anxious at the thought of doing this alone.
- Occasionally, the Peer Supporters will provide activities that promote mental wellbeing within halls/at University events, giving you the chance to meet them and find out a bit more.
- If appropriate, Peer Supporters can signpost you to other specialist services that are available on campus or in the local community.
What a Peer Supporter isn't:
- They aren’t a counsellor and cannot support you with any serious illnesses, or mental health conditions you may have.
- They don’t give advice.
- They don’t have any personal relationships with students who use the service.
- They don’t provide any academic support, but can signpost to the Peer Mentor service, which provides peer academic support.
- Peer support is offered by students like you, who may have many similar experiences. Peer Supporters are all volunteers.
- Peer Supporters undergo an application and selection process before attending thirty hours of training, and keep to a Peer Support Code of Practice.
- Training is provided by qualified Peer Support Programme Trainers through the Keele University Counselling and Mental Health Support Service.
- Peer Supporters receive mandatory ongoing supervision from the University Counselling and Mental Health Support Service.