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Peer Support

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The aim of the Peer Support programme at LSE is to provide student-led, informal and confidential assistance to  all LSE students who would like some emotional support, help and reassurance. Around 20 undergraduate students are trained each year to become Peer Supporters. They can be found in LSE Halls of Residence and on campus. 

You can read more about the scheme in this report from the 2013/14 Peer Support Graduation|. To find out about the current group of Peer Supporters, including how to contact them, see the Your Peer Supporters page|.

 What is Peer Support?

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)

 What can Peer Supporters support you with?

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

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, Counselling Service, Teaching and Learning Centre  and the Disability and Wellbeing Office, for example.

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.

 Who are the Peer Supporters?

Peer Support is now in its fourth year at LSE. The current group of Peer Supporters - 18 undergraduates from a range of LSE departments - completed their 30 hour training programme in 2014 and receive ongoing training and supervision throughout the academic year with the LSE Student Counselling Service.  

For the 2014/15 academic year Peer Supporters will be based in Passfield Hall, Carr Saunders Hall, Bankside, High Holborn, Northumberland House and Roseberry Hall, and will have links with wardens and the halls committees in these halls. 

Most Peer Supporters live in a Hall, but some live outside in private accommodation. 

The 18 Peer Supporters are available to any student, wherever you might live. 

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

Most Peer Supporters live in a hall, but some live outside in private accommodation

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.

How to contact a Peer Supporter:

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 regardless of which year you're in or where you live can contact any Peer Supporter.

By e-mail

Feel free to contact any peer supporter by e-mail to arrange a time and place to speak to them.
This is the preferred method of contact as it allows Peer Supporters to set aside some time for you so that you have their complete focus.

You can find the e-mails of specific Peer Supporters by clicking here| or you can email the Peer Support Programme more generally on tlc.peer.support@lse.ac.uk| and a Peer Supporter will get back to you.

Click here to find out how to contact specific Peer Supporters.

 FAQs

  • What does confidentiality mean?
  • Will talking to a peer supporter really help me?
  • 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 to a Peer Supporter about 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 for the safety of the Peer Supporter. In such circumstances breaking confidentiality does not in any way mean that what you have shared becomes public knowledge. A Peer Supporter will only tell the relevant person/s in 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 also 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 what you may consider the silliest 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 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.
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