Welcome to the Peer Support Program!
The Peer Support Program is comprised of eight peer support students (“Peer Supporters”) who have done extensive training with Hope & Me (previously Mood Disorders Association of Ontario) and the Health & Wellness Centre, and who also have their own lived experiences of mental health and academic challenges. As part of the Peer Support Program, Peer Supporters organize and facilitate drop-in groups where fellow students discuss a variety of topics, including mental health, family and relationship dynamics, and academic experiences. For this upcoming academic year, students can also connect one-on-one with a Peer Supporter.
The Peer Support Program runs during the Fall and Winter semesters.
Please reach out to email@example.com if you are interested in connecting with a Peer Supporter during a drop-in group or individually.
Sign up on CLNx to attend our Wellness Chats with Peers Drop In Sessions.
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 Wellness Chats with Peers 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 firstname.lastname@example.org . 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!
University of Toronto Scarborough Campus partnered with Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences is offering Recovery College at your school. A Recovery College is a unique, free, virtual, mental health and well-being learning centre where people with lived experiences of navigating wellness through the post-secondary experience and peers come together to co-design and deliver courses on topics that support mental health and well-being. The courses being offered by Recovery College have been developed by UTSC students! Through structured curriculum, guided discussions, and activities, Recovery College offer the opportunity to empower yourself in the pursuit of well-being, on your terms. Please see details for Recovery College offerings below. For more information, please email Peer Support Specialist, Brooklyn Bastarache, email@example.com . To register for any or all of the courses, please go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WM2XLCD. Please note, courses are only open to UTSC students only.
Recovery College Courses
Date: Wednesdays, September 27 - November 1, 2023
Time: 12pm - 1pm
You are an expert in your own experience. If you are interested in informing mental health programming at your school, this is the course for you! You and your peers will come together to brainstorm ideas for courses to be offered in the UTSC Recovery College. You will collectively design and develop the course offerings for the next semester in the Recovery College. You will decide what the course topics are, how to engage with these topics, and the names of the courses. As students, you and your peers know your needs better than anyone else. We can’t wait to learn and create alongside you!
12 spots available, first come first serve. This course is approved on your Co-Curricular Record (CCR) upon completion.
What will you learn?
- About the personal recovery movement, co-design, and the recovery college philosophy
- To work as a member of a team to design relevant and impactful mental health and wellness courses
- To leverage your experiences navigating wellness as a post-secondary student as a source of strength and value
- To foster creativity in creating new and innovative courses that meet the needs of post-secondary students
Date: Thursdays, October 26 - November 30
Time: 1pm - 2pm
As international students, university life can bring many unexpected challenges - keeping up with school, managing high expectations, working through relationships, and getting by on your own. While these stressors can feel daunting, we are not powerless against them! In this course, we will explore a variety of areas that will help you thrive through your university experience. You and your peers will have the opportunity to engage in meaningful discussions, participate in thoughtful activities, and share your lived experiences, in a safe and supportive space. We will explore life skills and how to apply them in ways that are helpful for you and your needs. You will also have the opportunity to connect with and hear from other students who are experiencing similar challenges.
What will we learn?
- Ways to manage your time effectively
- How to build connections on campus
- Budgeting and saving money as a student
- How to navigate interpersonal relationships and make connections
- Vital coping skills to get through the school year
- To recognize burnout and manage negative feelings
- Resource navigation on campus
Potential content to cover during this course: time-management, building connections, personal finance tips, setting boundaries, maintaining healthy relationships, discovering hobbies and passions, identifying burnout, dealing with negative thoughts, self-care, problem-solving, etc.
- Week 1: Who Am I?
- Week 2: Goal Setting: Exploring the Colourful World
- Week 3: Bridging Communication Gaps
- Week 4: Self-Care Check In
- Week 5: Finding My Academic Balance
- Week 6: Keep the Change: Managing a Student Wallet
This course was created in partnership with international students at UTSC.