Peer Support Networks

 

Peer Support Networks 

What groups are there I can potentially access?

We have set up six student peer support networks that will support students who may be particularly struggling this academic year, so they are able to gain peer support in a safe environment. 

The five peer support groups:

  • International Students
  • Mature students
  • Students that would like to talk about their gender Identity
  • Students that would like to talk about their Sexuality
  • Students with a disability

Where are the peer support sessions?

The sessions will be online for the time being and we are looking at how we can do these sessions in person in a way that supports students to feel comfortable doing so. You will be sent the online link for your session a day before it is scheduled. 

What is peer support? (Mind UK)

Peer support is when people use their own experiences to help each other. There are different types of peer support, but they all aim to:

  • bring together people with shared experiences to support each other
  • provide a space where you feel accepted and understood
  • treat everyone's experiences as being equally important
  • involve both giving and receiving support.

In peer support, everyone's views and experiences are equally valued, rather than anyone being seen as more of an expert than others. How much support you give and receive can vary depending on what feels right for you at different times.

Could peer support help me? (Mind UK)

Lots of people find peer support improves their wellbeing and helps them cope with mental health problems. For example, it could:

  • help you to open up about what you are feeling and experiencing
  • introduce you to ideas and approaches that others have found helpful
  • reassure you that you're not alone in how you are feeling
  • help you to connect with others and give you a sense of belonging
  • encourage you to value your strengths
  • build your self-esteem and confidence
  • help you to feel more hopeful about the future.

Mind UK also has useful guidelines to help you understand if peer support is right for you.

We recommend booking an appoint with advice(su) or student services before coming along to a peer support session to understand if this is the right support for you.

 

What do the sessions look like?

The sessions have a small number of participants to support individuals to feel comfortable with speaking with the group. 

The sessions start off with an icebreaker activity for students to get to know each other, followed by the group agreeing on the purpose and some shared grounds rules of the session. The main part of the session is an open discussion which gives the opportunity for students to receive and give peer support. In this time students may open up about their experiences or any worries they currently have. There is no obligation to speak during any of these activities until you feel comfortable to do so. The session is finished with a summary of discussions.

If you have any worries or concerns about coming along, please get in touch with the facilitator Lea Denley who will be able to talk with you beforehand about the session - l.denley@uea.ac.uk. Please also get in touch if we can make the online call more accessible for you. We understand the difficulties of online activities and want to be able to support where we can. If you would like to put a face to a name, you can view the facilitator here 

 

Social media groups

You may also find these Facebook groups useful for peer support and meeting other likeminded students at UEA

UEA Mature Students Facebook Forum

UEA Students with disabilities forum 

International Students Community support group 

 

How do I sign up for a session?

To come along to a session, you must sign up below. 

Students Peer Support Session

 

 

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