Helping Ontario's colleges and universities enhance capacity to support student mental health and well-being

Campus Initiative

The Development of a Peer Mentoring Program for Postsecondary Students with Mental Health Issues – MHIF (Round 1)

Project Summary:

The goal of this project was to develop a system-wide, research-based and evaluated peer mentoring program focused on mental health in order to support students with mental health problems.  The M2 Peer Mentor Program matched students with mental health issues (mentees) with an upper-year student mentor who provided personal support and suggested learning and coping strategies through weekly meetings.  Mentors were selected using a careful and systematic hiring process and received intensive training in the following areas:

  1. Peer helping skills and communication skills
  2. Mental health education
  3. Stigma-reduction
  4. Boundaries and confidentiality
  5. Coaching healthy lifestyle choices
  6. Learning strategies
  7. Responding to a crisis
  8. Resources and referrals

A rigorous assessment of the program (for both mentors and mentees) was carried out using focus groups. Individual interviews and self-report scales (e.g. self-efficacy) and reflection diaries.

Key Outcomes:

The M2 Peer Mentoring Program was successfully piloted at Queen’s University in the 2014-15 year.

Reports & Resources:

The Peer Mentor Training Manual is a comprehensive curriculum package with everything necessary to train peer mentors for a mental-health focused peer mentoring program. The Training Manual includes an overview of the program structure and the pilot program at Queen’s University, as well as lesson plans, learning outcomes, activities, and handouts for all training sessions. The Power Point presentations for all training sessions are available below.

Training Manual

PowerPoint Slides:

Boundaries and Confidentiality

Coaching Health and Wellness

Crisis Response

Emotional Intelligence

Exam Preparation

Mental Health Education Presentation

Mentoring Relationships and Skills



Understanding Academic Expectations Presentation

Wise Choice Model Presentation


Project Contact:

Mira Dineen

Coordinator, M2 Peer Mentoring Pilot Program
Queen’s University

Dr. Mike Condra

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology
Queen’s University

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