Peer Support Program

Welcome to the Peer Support Program! We are a group of students who have been trained in supportive counselling skills and experiences with mental health. We facilitate peer-to-peer drop-in groups where fellow students can come and discuss a variety of topics, including mental health, family and relationship dynamics, and academic experiences. We also have our own lived experiences with mental health and so when student come and speak with us, they can be assured they are talking with someone who will be able to relate to their experiences as well.

Please Note: Our Peer Supporters offer a Peer-To-Peer Drop In twice a week during the Fall/Winter Semesters.  Check back for updates.

WHO MIGHT ATTEND A PEER SUPPORT DROP IN?

  • Students seeking support with their mental health and academic needs
  • Students who would prefer to talk to another student who may be able to relate to their lived experiences
  • Students who are feeling isolated on campus and want to connect
  • Students wanting to get better connected with services across campus
  • Students seeking community

 

WHAT DOES OUR PEER-TO-PEER DROP-IN GROUP LOOK LIKE?

Our Peer-To-Peer Drop-In have two trained peer supporters that facilitate a group space for other students seeking support and understanding.

Our groups have the following components:

  • Welcome. All students who attend are welcomed to the group space by the peer supporters.
  • Introductions. Everyone attending will have an opportunity to introduction themselves and share their pronouns.
  • Comfort Agreement. At each group attendees review the comfort agreement, which includes
    • Protecting confidentially
    • Creating a judgment free zone
    • Being mindful of inclusive language
    • Active Listening
    • Voluntary Participation
  • Check-in. All students attending will have an opportunity to “check-in,” letting the group how they are doing, what’s on their mind, and what would be helpful for them in attending.Support & Resources.   Our Peer Supporters engage participants in conversations that offer support and potential resources for any questions, challenges, or difficulties that may come up for students during group.
  • Check-Out. Students will have the opportunity to reflect on the group experience at the end of group.

 

HOW DOES PEER SUPPORT HELP?

Students attending a Peer-To-Peer Drop In group could expect to learn about:

  • Coping skills to help improve stress and reduce feels of being overwhelmed
  • Strategies for managing mental health
  • Suggestions for resources to better manage your academics
  • Exploring your strengths as a student
  • Strategies for relationship building with friends and family
  • Feeling connected with other students on campus, managing loneliness
  • Getting referrals to other resources and services across campus

 

MEET OUR PEER SUPPORTERS!

Our peer support team has 8 wonderful peer support students who organize and facilitate the peer support drop-in groups. Our peers, who are fellow students at UTSC, have done extensive training with Hope & Me (previously Mood Disorders Association of Ontario) and the wellness peer programs at Health & Wellness in addition to their own lived experiences of mental health and academic challenges. Further, our peers participate in bi-weekly community of practice meetings in order to support each other as they create a welcoming and caring community space for fellow students.

GETTING CONNECTED TO THE PEER SUPPORT TEAM

* Please Note: This program runs during the Fall/Winter Semesters. 

If you are interested in connecting with our peers at a peer support drop-in group, please email health.utsc@utoronto.ca . We will have a member of the peer support team connect with you and get you registered for the drop-in groups, so you are welcome to attend any time!