Alumni & Friends - Ways to get involved and give back

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 Tuesdays and Thursday from 3-4:30pm. Sign up on CLNx

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!

 

Recovery College

University of Toronto Scarborough Campus is partnering with Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences to launch a Recovery College at your school. A Recovery College is a unique mental health and well-being learning centre where people with lived experiences of navigating wellness through the post-secondary experience, mental health professionals, and peers come together to co-create courses on topics that support mental health and well-being. The courses being offered in the Recovery College at UTSC have been developed in collaboration with students from your school! Through structured curriculum, guided discussions, and activities, Recovery Colleges offer the opportunity to empower yourself in the pursuit of well-being. The goal of this programming is to support you in living a purposeful and meaningful life. Please see details for Recovery College offerings below. For more information and/or to register for either or both courses, please email Peer Support Specialist, Holly Harris, at harrish@ontarioshores.ca.

 

The Self Discovery Journey 2.0

Date: Thursdays from 3:00-4:30 p.m. from January 27th to March 3rd    

What will we do?

You are a constant in your own life. This means that dedicating time to building a healthy and happy relationship with yourself is a worthwhile investment. In this course, through semi-structured curriculum,  guided discussions, and activities, we will take a look inwards to gain a deeper sense of understanding and compassion for our experiences. We will learn from ourselves and each other about ways we can leverage our authentic self to live a purposeful and meaningful life.

This course has been updated based on feedback from your peers to be increasingly relevant to the current experiences of students. We welcome those who have taken this course before and newcomers alike!

What will you learn?

  • How to develop meaningful and healthy connections with ourselves and others
  • How to develop and apply a personalized wellness plan
  • How to develop and apply self advocacy skills
  • About resiliency and how we can foster it in our lives
  • To appreciate the diversity and complexity of the human experience

 

The Self-Recovery Journey

Date: Mondays from 3:00-4:00 p.m. from March 7th to April 11th

What will we do?

Resilience is when we are able bounce back from difficulties and stay true to ourselves and our goals. Throughout this group, we will engage in curriculum, activities, and discussions related to coping with life’s stressors and highlight our strengths to better equip us adapt to challenging situations. In this course, we will realise that although adversity is inherent in the human experience, we are not powerless and we are not alone.

What will we learn?

  • What personal resiliency is and how we can foster it in pursuit of our goals
  • To identify and learn how to apply resiliency skills to current and future stressors
  • About the obstacles that we may face in life and strategies we can use to foster resiliency in face of these obstacles
  • About the power of self awareness and reflection

 

The Journey of Adulthood

Date: Wednesdays from 4:00-5:00 p.m. from March 2nd to April 6th

What will we do?

As students, we are expected to know things we are never taught. This discrepancy can be distressing and uncomfortable. Through semi-structured curriculum, guided discussions, and activities, we will explore life skills and how to apply them in ways that are helpful for you and your needs. In this course we will learn how to navigate adulthood and have the opportunity to connect with others to form ongoing meaningful relationships.

What will you learn?

  • To expand our understanding of what it means to be an “adult”
  • To build life skills that are relevant and useful to you in your specific circumstances
  • How to leverage our sense of self in achieving our goals
  • About building a healthy lifestyle, financial management, social skills, vocational skills, meditation, journaling etc.