Dr Rina Bajaj discusses the key interventions and approaches to Peer Support that may be offered across different settings.
Introduction to Peer Support
There is a growing awareness that earlier preventative support that focuses on building resilience and promoting wellbeing is necessary to meet children and young people’s mental health needs.
Many children and young people find it easier to talk to their peers first, before they talk to others such as family members or professionals. As a result, there has been an increased drive to develop peer-based initiatives, particularly programmes that focus on accessing help and mental health support earlier.
Education settings are an ideal place to facilitate a Peer Support group. Peer Support is an umbrella term to encompass an array of interventions and approaches that may be offered across different settings. These might include peer tutoring, peer coaching, peer listening, peer mentoring, peer mediation, peer counselling, befriending and buddying. Although approaches to peer support can be quite distinctive and varied they offer three common features that include:
- Children and young people helping and supporting each other
- Support being offered in a planned and structured way
- Supporters that are trained to fulfill their role.
Below you will find more information on the key interventions and approaches to Peer Support that may be offered across different settings.
- Facilitator Toolkit - Chapter 1
The facilitator toolkit provides general information about setting up your own Peer Support programme. It has been developed to be used alongside the mentor training programme and has supporting documents to accompany it.
Download and review chapter 1 in the Peer Support Facilitators Toolkit here.
- Training Slides - Workshop 1
Download the slides that were delivered in the Peer Support Pilot two day training Programme. Find workshop 1 below:
Introduction to Peer Support: Workshop 1 slides