Peer Support Development

Laura Henderson, M.A., Research Coordinator for Man Up for Mental Health (The Caring Campus Project), University of Calgary, along with Student Leaders from the ManUp for Mental Health initiative

Peer support has been used on many university campuses as a way to offer support, encouragement, assistance, and connection. The University of Calgary created a peer support program run exclusively by male-identified students as a way to decrease some of the boundaries experienced by men on campus in regards to help-seeking. This workshop will discuss the recruitment and training of the male peer supporters. Students who volunteer with the service will be present to share their experiences of men’s mental health on campus and why they feel having a male-targeted peer support program is a necessary component of mental health services on campus. Audience members will have the opportunity to learn about the implementation and training necessary to successfully build a peer support program and discuss with the students the challenges and successes they achieved during the first year of this pilot program.