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Mental Health Peer Mentors

Learn about the Mental Health Peer Mentors, and how they can help you, should your Mental Health Counsellor refer them to you.

It is important to note that a Mental Health Peer Mentor is not a counsellor or a therapist. Further, they do not provide their mentees with class notes or act as a tutor, parent, or close personal friend. Peer Mentors exist to provide non-judgmental support and encouragement and to guide mentees to the correct resources should they require additional help.

What is a Mental Health Peer Mentors?

A Mental Health Peer Mentor is an undergraduate or graduate student at the university who listens and provides social and emotional support to students (mentees) on campus in a one-on-one setting. A Peer Mentor can also help students practice various skills related to mental health, wellbeing and self-care (e.g., mindfulness routines). Peer mentorship is based on communication, empathy and understanding. Each of the Peer Mentors receives training in order to carry out their role effectively.

Mental Health Peer Mentors can provide:

  • Emotional support by providing a listening ear;
  • Support by practicing self-care skills (e.g. mindfulness, relaxation); and
  • Support by practicing social skills (e.g. conversations in a nonjudgmental atmosphere, going to club and society events).

Peer Mentors can assist in creating a safe and comfortable environment for their mentee. Peer Mentors uphold confidentiality and maintain professionalism. A Peer Mentor can also offer other campus services and resources when the mentee is seeking additional forms of support.  

Mental Health Peer Mentors 2018-2019

Alisia is a second year master’s student in the Forensic Psychology program at the university. Her research focuses on campus sexual violence, and she intends to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology to practice in a correctional setting. Alisia is passionate about mental health and wellness, particularly in advocating for equitable access to mental health services. Apart from school, Alisia is involved in various programs and organizations that seek to support survivors of sexual violence, such as the Yellow Brick House and We Believe Survivors UOIT. She enjoys reading anything and everything, and writing. She also loves photography, hiking, watching documentaries, and spending time with family and friends. Alisia has always had a keen interest in supporting students. She has been involved in many peer mentorship programs, where she supported students through academic, mental health, and other personal difficulties. Alisia seeks to empower her peers to be confident in their abilities as a student and as a member of the community at large.

Rebecca is a fourth year Forensic Psychology student in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities. Rebecca’s passion for mental health and awareness began after experiencing mental illness firsthand. The peer mentor program is a new initiative that she is very excited and proud to be a part of! Rebecca is also a part of the Student Mental Health Advisory Committee. She is very excited to work with an amazing team towards a common goal of raising awareness about mental health on campus. Rebecca believes that promoting mental health conversations around campus are an excellent way to end the stigma and reach out to help those in need so that they do not have to suffer in silence. Nobody should have to suffer alone. The advisory committee aids in creating a campus wide initiative that will aim to accommodate the mental health needs of all students, and that is something she is very proud to be a part of. Rebecca is also very proud to be able to help students on their journey to mental wellness as a Peer Mentor. Rebecca can’t wait to share her experiences to help others overcome their own challenges.

Kavisha is a fourth year student specializing in Human Health Science. She has a strong passion for medicine and the art of healing. Learning about mental health illnesses allowed Kavisha to develop a passion for breaking the stigma of mental illness. She is passionate about advocacy, practicing mindfulness techniques, and staying positive. She loves connecting with her peers and the community through various clubs on campus such as Doctors Without Borders and volunteering at the local hospital. In her free time, you can find her going on adventurous nature walks, playing the guitar, writing blogs about mindfulness or hanging out with friends and family. Kavisha is excited to be a Peer Mentor to connect with her peers on the journey of mental wellness together!

How it Works

Intake Appointment:

Sessions are up to 50 minutes in length.

This initial meeting will determine the best support to meet your needs. It will also determine the setting in which you feel the most comfortable to meet (i.e., Downtown Campus, North Campus, alternate meeting spot).

An email reminder of this appointment is sent through your UOIT.net email.

Follow-up Appointments:

After your intake appointment, your Mentor will discuss next steps. Peer Mentors can meet with each mentee on a weekly basis, but this is based upon the mentee’s needs and preferences.

Follow-up appointments can be booked with your Mentor in person or by emailing them. Email reminders of these appointments will be sent through your UOIT.net email.

Mentors do not provide counselling or therapy services. We can provide information about these services.

Checking in for Your Appointment:

If you are meeting at the Downtown or North Campus locations, check in at the front desk when you arrive for any appoint. Your Peer Mentor will come get you from the waiting area. If you and your Mentor have chosen to meet in an alternate spot, this can be arranged prior to the meeting. 

You can discuss another way to check in for your following appointments with your Peer Mentor depending on where you choose to meet.

Confidentiality

Peer Mentors are trained in confidentiality and will protect your privacy.

FAQs

I am interested in seeing a Peer Mentor, how do I sign up?

If you are interested in seeing a Peer Mentor, please ask your Student Life Mental Health Counsellor for more details about this program.

If I am not registered with Student Mental Health Services or currently seeing a Mental Health Counsellor, can I still sign up?

If you are not registered but would like to see a Peer Mentor, you will have to make an intake appointment with a Student Life Mental Health Counsellor for a referral.

How do I book an intake appointment with a Counsellor?

You can book an appointment through any of the following options:

  • Call the Student LifeLine at 905.721.3392.
  • Email us at studentlifeline@uoit.ca.
  • Schedule an appointment online.  
  • Visit us at one of our locations: North Oshawa Location (2000 Simcoe Street North, Student Life Building, West Hub) OR Downtown Oshawa Location (61 Charles Street, Oshawa, 2nd floor, Student Life Suite, Room 225)

How long will a Peer Mentor appointment take?

Peer Mentor sessions are up to 50 minutes in length. Depending on what you decide with your mentor, sessions are usually once a week.

Can I see my Peer Mentor long-term?

You can continue to see a Peer Mentor for as long as you are registered with Student Mental Health Services, and as long as there is an agreement between yourself (mentee) and the Mentor that continuing sessions are appropriate for your needs. If you require longer and/or more intensive care than Peer Mentors can provide, options for referrals to more appropriate campus or community resources will be discussed.

Will my parents be notified if I get involved with counselling services?

Your information is protected and confidential. Parents, friends, professors, administrators, and employers are not provided with any information regarding a student involved in peer mentoring.

What if I feel like I don’t “click” or like my Peer Mentor?

You have a right to feel comfortable and safe in a Peer Mentor session. Please talk with your counsellor about your Peer Mentor if you don't feel that way. We encourage you to discuss feelings about your treatment directly with your counsellor, who can then change your appointments to a different Mentor to accommodate you.

Is there a cost to be seeing a Peer Mentor?

There are no fees to meeting a Peer Mentor or a counsellor.

Am I able to bring a friend to my Peer Mentor sessions?

Yes, if you feel more comfortable with another person and that person attends voluntarily. However, these sessions are designed for the specific mentee only. If your friend is interested in seeing a Peer Mentor, please let them know to ask their Student Life Mental Health Counsellor for more details.

How long will I have to wait for Peer Mentor appointment?

It depends on your availability, our availability, and an assessment of your needs. Your counsellor will be able to give you more details about the availability of the Peer Mentors.

Would I benefit from Peer Mentor sessions?

Everybody can benefit from having a Peer Mentor. Peer Mentors are there to listen and share experiences with mentees in order to help build connections, share experiences without judgment, practice new skills, and to help you fully benefit from your university experiences. Some examples of reasons to meet with a Peer Mentor include loneliness, self-esteem, stress, difficulties with social situations, seeking a listening ear, and being able to talk about concerns that you would like to keep private.

What if I need to talk, but my Peer Mentor and/or counsellor are not available?

Good2Talk is a free, confidential helpline providing professional counselling and information and referrals for mental health, addictions and well-being to post-secondary students in Ontario, 24/7/365. Students can reach Good2Talk by calling 1-866-925-5454 or by dialling 2-1-1 and asking to be connected to Good2Talk. If you are experiencing an emergency or mental health crisis, please call 911.

The Big White Wall and 7 Cups are two free online resources that students can access as well.
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