Become a Peer Supporter

  • Peer Supporters are undergraduates and graduates who are interested in providing a valuable, confidential, and impartial support system to students who are struggling emotionally, but do not require mental health intervention.
  • Each Peer Supporter undergoes an application and selection process before attending a fifteen-hour training course, and keeps to a Peer Support Code of Practice.
  • Peer Supporters play a key role in helping to foster a sense of community and providing welfare. All are approachable, friendly, and have good listening skills.
  • It’s a voluntary position, and is a way of giving back to the University and the student population. Being involved in the scheme is a great way to learn some new skills, and looks good on your CV. Hours contribute towards volunteer awards, and your Higher Education Achievement Record (HEAR).
  • Training is provided by qualified Peer Support Trainers through the Keele University Counselling and Mental Health Support Service.
  • Training consists of 5 three-hour sessions, which take place during term time. The training continues through regular supervision after the structured training has ended. All sessions of the training and supervision are mandatory.
  • Skills learned through training include being a good listener, helping others to feel more comfortable with social, academic and personal relationships, and managing and communicating about sensitive issues.
  • In training, an emphasis is placed on the listener learning his or her limits within a listening situation, and when best to refer on the person whom they are supporting, both within and outside of the University.
  • The Peer Supporter also becomes aware of information on available support, counselling, and medical services too.
  • Students who are trained commit themselves to being available in their role as peer supporters for at least two semesters after training. Those trained will become a part of the University Peer Support Team.
  • Because Peer Supporters are not trained to be counsellors, they commit to attending ongoing supervision sessions with qualified Peer Support Trainer. This ensures that they are not acting as or being asked to act as counsellors, or committing too much time to being a peer supporter.
  • Supervision, provided by qualified Peer Support Trainers, is an integral and mandatory part of the programme. Through discussing issues arising from the Peer Supporters’ role in the University, it ensures the safety of those seeking support. In addition, further training is provided in these sessions.
If you have any questions, please email us and we'll put you in touch with a Peer Support Trainer.