- What they are hoping to accomplish in accessing services?
- Do they feel comfortable speaking to an individual with lived experience of a mental health and/or addiction challenge?
- Are they looking to be supported via a specific therapeutic approach?
- Does the individual feel they are in crisis?
One of the benefits of offering peer support services is that participants can engage or disengage as they see fit and they should be encouraged to access these types of services without barriers. That said, some triaging may be necessary to ensure individual goals can be best met within peer support service provision. Campuses will need to decide whether peer support services are offered on a drop-in basis or if the services provided are registered services, meaning participants will have to complete designated steps in order to engage in the service.
Registered services allow for easier tracking and program evaluation and could result in improved access to funding. If the post-secondary institution decides to have a registration process for peer support services, the intake should involve an evaluation of whether the participants’ goals will be met within this model.
Below are some examples of what the participants should be asked:
Although this approach does mitigate some risk factors, it also poses a barrier to students wishing to access the services. Drop-in services are far more accessible, and individuals are typically more inclined to access services if they do not need to engage in the registration process, but a drop-in model can make it more difficult to track/evaluate progress.
Generally, individuals who benefit from peer support services are those who are coping with feelings of isolation, are not in crisis, and are looking to be connected with various resources and tangible coping strategies. It is also advisable to allow participants to access both peer support and alternative supports at the same time. Often, peer support services can help participants to remain engaged with other services as well.
Campus Peer Support
- About this Guide
- The Case for Peer Support on Campus
- Environment preparation
- Recruiting peer supporters
- Training ideas
- Supervision and support
- Case Studies
- Program operation
- Appendix A: Additional resources
- Appendix B: Sample needs assessment
- Appendix C: Sample peer supporter job postings
- Appendix D: Interview questions to ask
- Appendix E: Campus staff training outline
- Appendix F: Reflective practice framework for peer supporters
- Appendix G: Self-reflective practice: tips for peer supporters
- Appendix H: Peer support case note template