The Peers: Students Helping Students Program at the University of Manitoba began in 1987.
The program has grown steadily since that time, presently employing one student on a part-time basis and between 20-35 volunteer Peers, all of whom are students themselves. The program’s main office at 150 University Centre serves as a drop-in, referral, and administrative office.
Each Peer commits approximately six hours per week to the program in the following areas:
- Training and updating their skills and knowledge
- Operating the main office for support and referrals for students
- Planning and participating in outreach and program promotion activities
Peers complete an intensive training program led by professionals. In the first term, Peers begin with a mandatory training weekend in September and then continue with weekly meetings throughout the year. Topics covered in training may include the following:
- Active listening and empathic communication
- Crisis intervention
- Important student-related issues and topics
- Marketing and promotion skills
Training topics may be given by programs or groups on or off campus with particular expertise in these topics.
The Peers themselves are the program’s strength. Peers come from a variety of disciplines and perspectives; each makes a unique contribution to the program. What Peers have in common is a desire to learn, to listen, and to reach out actively and support other students.
Peers are an approachable resource for students who have questions or need a supportive listener regarding a personal problem. Peers make referrals to other campus or community resources as appropriate. All services are confidential and free of charge.
Application forms can be found below: