Back in May this year, in partnership with the Institute of Mental Health Peer Support Education Team, students and staff launched a new initiative to support the mental health and wellbeing of students studying within the school.
Student wellbeing is becoming increasingly important with the growing number of students in higher education experiencing mental health difficulties. For students studying on health care courses there are additional challenges such as the expectations of professional bodies, practice assessment and the emotional nature of healthcare work.
Peer support is a successful approach to promoting mental wellbeing. Bringing people together who have shared experiences can help provide role models for coping, recovery and aid in generating joint solutions, practical advice and emotional support.
We need you!
We are looking for students to volunteer as student peer group facilitators. Group facilitators will undertake four days of training to develop their understanding of peer support principles. They will also be supported by members of the Bridge Network Steering Group and the mental health nursing academic team.
Student peer facilitators will, with support, run regular groups for other students with experience of mental distress. The groups aim to create a safe and inclusive space to provide:
- a listening ear
- a supportive space for students to share their experiences and explore opportunities for maintaining personal wellbeing
- appropriate signposting to formal and professional sources of support
Being a student peer facilitator will involve:
- sharing ideas about ways of achieving goals
- supporting development of problem solving skills
- role modelling self-awareness, self-advocacy and hopefulness
- supporting access to self-help and sharing ideas about keeping yourself well
- offering guidance and signposting to other services
- to raise awareness about student mental wellbeing in the school
Student peer facilitators may have the following skills and experience:
- understanding of the challenges faced by people experiencing mental distress
- ability to think creatively
- good communication and active listening skills
- experience of commitment to project work
Becoming a student peer facilitator provides a great opportunity to contribute to the student community and put into practice the communication skills that you are developing as a healthcare practitioner, as well as adding to your CV. We are also exploring opportunities for this to count towards the Nottingham Advantage Award.
How to apply
Please send expressions of interest to Anne Felton by Monday 23 October. Expressions of interest should be between 200-500 words and briefly outline the skills and experience you will bring to the role. Up to 10 places are available for student peer facilitators across the school this year.
Posted on Tuesday 10th October 2017