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.
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/Q2WFBCV. Please note, courses are only open to UTSC students only.
Recovery College Courses
Date: Wednesdays, May 31 - June 28
Time: 10am - 11am
Room: HL255 - Hybrid Option for students currently out of province
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: Tuesdays, June 6 - July 11
Do you find yourself comparing your accomplishments to others online? Do you find yourself defining success based on your age? Have you experienced FOMO before? Spending hours mindlessly scrolling? In this group, we will use a semi-structured curriculum, guided discussions, and activities related to social media safety and online comparisons. The goal of this community discussion series is to learn from one another to feel secure in yourself and navigate social media with intention.
What will you learn?
- How deceiving social media can be and avoiding comparison
- The unrealistic promotion of others’ achievements
- How to critically and healthily address achievements
- To foster self-esteem
Date: Thursdays, July 6 - August 10
As students, sometimes it can feel like everyone has received a manual on everything needed to be a happy and healthy adult - except you. This experience can be frustrating and confusing. In this course, we will learn tips and tricks to navigate our journey to adulthood! 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. You will also have the opportunity to connect with others to form ongoing meaningful relationships.
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 we learn?
- To expand our understanding of what it means to be an “adult”
- How to balance and prioritize the various areas of our lives to avoid burnout
- To build life skills that are relevant and useful to you in your specific circumstances, whether you’re an undergrad or recent grad
- About building financial management, social, and vocational skills
Date: Tuesdays, July 11 - August 15
Time: 11am - 12pm
One of the most important relationships you’ll ever have is with yourself. Sometimes due to the society around us, our own mental health, or our lack of appropriate coping skills, this relationship doesn’t always thrive as much as it could. Bouncing back from difficulties in our personal, academic, and emotional lives can be difficult. But this kind of resilience is an essential to our wellbeing and happiness. In this course, through a semi-structured curriculum, guided discussions, and activities, we will explore ways to foster our relationship with ourselves and become more empowered in the process, while also highlighting our strengths to better equip us to adapt to challenging situations. We will realize that although adversity is inherent in the human experience, we are not powerless and we are not alone.
This course has been updated based on feedback from your peers to be increasingly relevant to the current experiences of students.
What will you learn?
- To appreciate the diversity and complexity of our shared human experiences
- How to develop meaningful and healthy connections with ourselves and others
- Ways to utilize skills like journaling, meditation, and making wellness plans
- How to develop and apply self-advocacy and resiliency skills
- About the power of self-awareness and reflection
- How to foster self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-compassion