UCU Peer Support is an initiative set up by of the Wellbeing Team in response to increasing demand by the student body for UCU to improve mental health and wellbeing on campus. UCU Peer Support is, simply put, a ‘peer-to-peer’ initiative which is there to enable students to seek advice, support and referrals from individuals similar to them in terms of age, social and educational contexts. Additionally, it allows them to be able to talk about any issues or concerns that may be on their mind and speak to someone outside of their immediate friend group, unitmates or family thus receiving an outside perspective of someone whom still closely understands issues specific to UCU. The Peer Support team provides students with a low-threshold space to get any troubles off their chest in a confidential context. All peer supporters have received training in active listening and non-violent communication and are also informed about further resources available to students.
The aim of UCU Peer Support is to reduce the sense of apprehension and discomfort that students may feel at the prospect of seeking out professional help. In addition, it seeks to address concerns of the stigma associated with seeking professional help that students may have, by providing students with a platform in which they can discuss with a peer. Finally, it seeks to be a student to student initiative, addressing the high demand for improving mental health and wellbeing on campus. Find additional information on their goals and the confidentiality agreement in the UCU Peer Support Manual here!
The Peer Supporters are available every day as they have daily office hours from 6pm to 10pm, including in the weekend with an additional 2 hours from 4 pm to 6 pm on Sunday. The schedule of which Peer Supporter will be in the office and when, can be found via their Faceboook page and is regularly updated. Their ‘office’ is located in Voltaire, upstairs on G-side, accesivle via the library. Follow the sign into the small library room and you will find it!