Peer Support

What is Peer Support?

 

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LSE wants your studying and working environment to be welcoming and inclusive. Yet at times, this environment can be challenging and tough.
At these times it can be useful to speak to somebody who has been through something similar and the LSE Peer Support Programme seeks to be reflective of the diversity of the LSE student body as a whole:

  • Supporters with LSE undergraduate-, Master’s- and PhD-level study experience 
  • Supporters from different ethnic, cultural, national and religious backgrounds
  • Disabled and non-disabled Supporters
  • Supporters from LGBT+ backgrounds
  • Supporters from different age groups
  • Supporters from different genders
  • Supporters with experience of caring responsibilities.

Peer Support is a proven successful programme which runs at many universities in the UK and the US. It provides students with a space to talk and be listened to. It can sometimes be hard to talk to friends and family about certain issues, therefore Peer Support provides a crucial service for students to talk to other students about anything they are worried about.

Peer Supporters are not counsellors, nor can they provide you with solutions to your problems. However Peer Supporters have been specifically selected and trained in listening, questioning and responding skills to ensure they are able to help other students to reach their own solutions. It can be helpful to talk to someone who is non-judgemental, impartial and outside of your situation.

‘In training we shared problems that we were dealing with at the time. The process of having someone really listening to me was not only incredibly liberating, it was empowering. It inspired me to overcome the worries I had and to want to help others through theirs. The gift of listening is indescribably valuable.’

Alastair (a Peer Supporter)


You can also read more about the scheme on the webpage from the 2017 Peer Support Graduation page.    

What can Peer Supporters help you with?

Peer Supporters are available and happy to listen to any problems. 

These are some of the issues that Peer Supporters have supported their fellow students with:

  • Homesickness
  • Stress
  • Financial concerns
  • Your course/the workload
  • Family
  • Eating problems
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Friends and relationships
  • Alcohol or drugs
  • Worries about the future
  • Employment
  • Loneliness
  • Cultural differences
  • Peer pressure
  • Exam anxiety
  • Supporting a friend who is experiencing difficulty
  • Sex, sexual health, contraception or pregnancy
  • Self harm
  • Suicidal thoughts.

    They can also tell you where else in the LSE you might get more help and support,  e.g., the Financial Support Office, Student Services, the Counselling Service, LSE Life or the Disability and Wellbeing Office, for example.

Who are the Peer Supporters?

Peer Support is now in its seventh year at LSE. The current group of Peer Supporters completed their 35 hour training programme in 2017 and receive ongoing training and supervision throughout the academic year with the LSE Student Counselling Service.  

We have 25 undergraduate Peer Supporters for 2017-18 and will be training postrgaduate students in October 2017. Some Peer Supporters are based in halls, others are affiliated to their academic departments.

All Peer Supporters can be contacted by any student regardless of their year of study, whether they are living in a hall of residence or in private accommodation.

You can arrange to meet a Peer Supporter on or near campus, in or near an LSE hall of residence.

 

Please find a list of our current Peer Supporters here with some information about them, and their email addresses.

You can contact any Peer Supporter you wish or you might prefer to contact Peer Supporters at your Hall if there are some attached to it.

Any LSE student can contact any Peer Supporter.

 

Peer Support Training 2017

We are currently recruiting second and third year postgraduate students who are interested in becoming Peer Supporters for 2017 - 2018. Training will take place in October 2017.

Click here for more information  and here to download an application form.

It is compulsory to attend all Peer Support training if you want to become an LSE Peer Supporter.

 

FAQs

  • What does confidentiality mean?
  • Will talking to a peer supporter really help me?
  • Who supports the Peer Supporters?
  • What if the peer supporter doesn’t understand and can’t help me?
  • Can I choose which peer supporter I contact?
  • Is my problem too small and irrelevant?
  • Can I use Peer Support to get help for my friend?

  • What does confidentiality mean? – Everything you talk about to a Peer Supporter is kept between you and the Peer Supporters and the LSE counsellor who supervises them. All the Peer Supporters have signed a document to this effect. However in certain situations confidentiality can be extended; for the safety of the person seeking help, for the safety of the wider community and for the safety of the Peer Supporter. In such circumstances, breaking confidentiality does not mean that what you have shared becomes public knowledge. A Peer Supporter will only tell the relevant person/s with regards to maintaining safety i.e. a Warden or LSE counsellors.
    Peer Supporters will never share anything you have told them with their friends.

  • Will talking to a Peer Supporter really help me? 
    Talking to a Peer Supporter is not guaranteed to help, however 'a problem shared is a problem halved'.
    Peer support schemes have been successful at other universities as they allow an informal, confidential and student-led method of support. Hopefully Peer Supporters enable a student to feel more at ease than in a formal setting. They can possibly relate to a fellow student in a more successful manner than a professional who is no longer a student.

  • Who supports the Peer Supporters? 
    The Peer Supporters attend supervision with an LSE Student Counsellor every two weeks. In this way, the Peer Supporters can learn more and talk about what difficulties, pressures or issues they themselves might have.

  • What if the Peer Supporter doesn’t understand and can’t help me? 
    If you find that talking to the Peer Supporter has not provided the level of support and help you desired, there are other services designed to help you at LSE and in the wider community. The Peer Supporter is trained and will be happy to help you find a suitable method of support. The LSE Counselling service provides more formal help and there is a 20-minute drop-in slot available every afternoon at the Student Counselling Service. It may also be helpful to contact a GP in London. A list of other external support agencies is available here.   

  • Can I choose which Peer Supporter I contact?
    Yes. A full list, contact details and pictures of the Peer Supporters are available by clicking here.
    There might be some Peer Supporters based in your hall of residence. 
    All LSE students can contact any Peer Supporter they would prefer.
    Just drop them an email with your contact details so they can get back to you.

  • Is my problem too small and irrelevant? 
    No. No problem is too small. Peer Supporters are there to help you with any worry, concern or issue.  A Peer Supporter also understands that what may seem small to some may be a big concern for others.

  • Can I use Peer Support to get help for my friend?
     We are trained to support the person in front of us. We can listen to your worries regarding someone else and if you feel they are in danger or are a danger to others its important to encourage that friend to contact the counselling service or their GP and come and speak with a counsellor. Drop in sessions are at 3:00 pm each day at the Student Counselling Service. Your friend can talk to a counsellor the same day.

    See also:  http://www.facebook.com/LsePeerSupport
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