- 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
Peer supporters should be responsible for documenting appointments or group sessions. Documentation is necessary in order to keep track of the number of participants accessing the service, the challenges with which participants are coping and the strengths they are utilizing to cope with these challenges. Ideally, these notes should be kept within the same client management software as the remainder of the mental health supports provided on campus.
Peer supporter notes should be done collaboratively with the participant. Participants should know what the peer supporter is writing down and be able to ask for changes in phrasing to ensure the documentation is reflective of the participant’s perception. This empowers the participant and helps to create a sense of safety, trust and comfort. In addition, it helps the peer supporter stay focused on the goals, successes and strengths of the participant as the participant sees them.
Peer supporter notes should also be written from a strengths-based perspective. This is not to say the challenges the participant is experiencing should not be documented, but the participant’s interests, strengths, support system and past successes in managing their mental health should also be focused on within the notes. Diagnostic language, judgments, assumptions, perceptions and evaluations of the participant’s well-being, progress and challenges should not be documented within the case notes. The case notes should consistently reflect the participant’s perspective of one’s own circumstances.
Group case notes should be more high level, documenting how many participants attended, gender identities of the participants, ages of the participants, topics discussed, themes of the group, any conflicts that occurred, participant follow ups that may be required and any other features that would be necessary for reporting.
For samples of case note templates for individual or group peer support, please see Appendix H.