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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Mental Health Peer Mentors

student posting sign saying you got thisIf your Counsellor has referred you to a Mental Health Peer Mentor, or if you are interested in receiving this type of support, learn more about the Peer Mentor Program here.

What is a Mental Health Peer Mentor?

A Mental Health Peer Mentor is an undergraduate or graduate student at the university who listens and provides social and emotional support to students (mentees) in a one-on-one setting. A Peer Mentor can also help students practice various skills related to mental health, wellbeing and self-care (e.g., mindfulness routines). Peer mentorship is based on communication, empathy and understanding. Each of the Peer Mentors receives training in order to carry out their role effectively.

Mental Health Peer Mentors can provide:

  • Emotional support by providing a listening ear.
  • Support by teaching and practicing self-care skills (for example, mindfulness, relaxation).
  • Support by practicing social skills (for example, conversations in a nonjudgmental atmosphere, going to club and society events).

Peer Mentors can assist in creating a safe and comfortable environment for their mentee. Peer Mentors uphold confidentiality and maintain professionalism. A Peer Mentor can also provide information on other campus services and resources when the mentee is seeking additional forms of support.  

Introduction to Mental Health Peer Mentoring video

Ana

Aspyn

Ana is a second-year Master’s student in the Forensic Psychology program. Having completed a bachelor’s in clinical psychology Ana has gained valuable knowledge and skills and wishes to accompany others in their mental health journey. Ana has gained a keen interest in working along with people in vulnerable situations e.g., survivors of abuse or violence. Based on these interests, she is studying jurors’ perceptions of interpreted-mediated interviews for her thesis. Ana has aspirations of continuing her education in academia while being part of other individuals’ development. She is delighted to be joining the Student Mental Health Services team as a Peer Mentor. Ana is very excited to play an active role in the students’ mental health and well-being.

 

Erin

peer mentor

Erin (she/her) is a fourth-year undergraduate student in the Forensic Psychology program with the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities. She hopes to continue her education in the social sciences and pursue graduate studies to become a social worker. Erin is excited to be joining the team of Mental Health Peer Mentors as she knows how important it can be to know that there is somebody in your corner who is ready to meet you with understanding. She believes that mental health is an ongoing journey that is based on being kind to yourself and working towards the life that you want. Whether this involves a focus on physical or mental health, there are always new ways to develop strategies for self-care. In her spare time, you can find her with a book or at a baseball diamond, or sometimes both at once.

 

Hallie

hallie.jpg

Hallie is in her fourth year of the Bachelor of Commerce program in the Faculty of Business and Information Technology, where she is majoring in Organizational Behaviour and Human Resources. Hallie has had previous experiences with mental health concerns including generalized and social anxiety, as well as depression. After years of not getting the help that she needed due to lack of awareness and stigma, she utilized the many resources within the university and the community to help her on her mental health journey. Now, she feels like she is in a great place and wants to leverage her experience to help her fellow students on their mental health journey. She believes that everyone should know that they are not alone in what they are experiencing, and they should not have to suffer in silence. She is looking forward to being a Peer Mentor to connect with her peers and to help them overcome their own challenges.

 

Michael

Michael

Michael is a second- year PhD student in Criminology. He completed his BA in Psychology at Bishop's University in Sherbrooke Quebec before attending Laurier University in Brantford for a Master's in Criminology. For his Master’s he studied relationships between mental health patients and the police. Michael believes this is an important field to study because it can help reduce the stigma around mental health. He also believes that it's important to self-care and take the time needed to work on mental and physical health. His ways to self-care are the gym, playing and watching sports and also dropping everything and just relaxing. He also believes it is important to find your own way to self-care and utilize it not only for school, but also for life in general. Self-care becomes an important skill to have in the future. He is very excited to be a part of the Ontario Tech University’s mental health team as a peer mentor as it allows me to help guide or just listen to students who want help. He knows how school can be a long and hard process and I understand how challenging it can be to juggle life and school at the same time.

 

 

How it Works

Your mental health counsellor may refer you to a Mental Health Peer Mentor, so that you can receive support from one of your Ontario Tech peers.  

What to expect:

  1. With your consent, a Student Wellness Coordinator or your Mental Health Counsellor will reach out to a Mental Health Peer Mentor and provide them with your contact information.
  2. Your Mental Health Peer Mentor will email you to arrange a mutually convenient time to meet.
  3. You will have a 50 minute initial meeting with your Mental Health Peer Mentor to review confidentiality, your goals and/or your support needs.
  4. At your initial meeting, you and your Mental Health Peer Mentor will also decide how often you will meet.  Follow-up appointments can be booked with your Mentor in person or by emailing them. 
  5. Similar to counselling, the length of time someone receives support from a Mental Health Peer Mentor will vary, depending on needs.

Mental Health Peer Mentors do not provide or replace counselling or therapy services, although they can provide information about these services.

Checking in for Your Appointment*:

*Mental Health Peer Mentors are currently meeting connecting with their mentees via Google Meet or telephone due to campus closures.  The information below applies to in-person appointments once our campuses re-open.

If you are meeting at the Downtown or North Campus locations, check in at the front desk when you arrive for any appointment. Your Peer Mentor will come get you from the waiting area. If you and yourMental Health Peer Mentor have chosen to meet in an alternate spot, this can be arranged prior to the meeting. 

You can discuss check in processes for any follow-up appointments with your Mental Health Peer Mentor directly.

Confidentiality

Peer Mentors are trained in confidentiality and will protect your privacy.

FAQs

I am interested in seeing a Peer Mentor, how do I sign up?

If you are interested in seeing a Peer Mentor, please make an appointment with our Student Wellness Coordinator or ask your Student Life Mental Health Counsellor for more details about this program.

If I am not registered with Student Mental Health Services or currently seeing a Mental Health Counsellor, can I still sign up?

If you are not registered but would like to see a Peer Mentor, you will have to make an intake appointment with a Student Life Mental Health Counsellor for a referral.

How do I book an intake appointment?

You can book an appointment through any of the following options:

How long will a Peer Mentor appointment take?

Peer Mentor sessions are up to 50 minutes in length. Depending on what you decide with your mentor, sessions are usually once a week.

Can I see my Peer Mentor long-term?

You can continue to see a Peer Mentor for as long as you are registered with Student Mental Health Services, and as long as there is an agreement between yourself (mentee) and the Mentor that continuing sessions are appropriate for your needs. If you require longer and/or more intensive care than Peer Mentors can provide, options for referrals to more appropriate campus or community resources will be discussed.

Will my parents be notified if I get involved with counselling services?

Your information is protected and confidential. Parents, friends, professors, administrators, and employers are not provided with any information regarding a student involved in peer mentoring.

What if I feel like I don’t “click” or like my Peer Mentor?

You have a right to feel comfortable and safe in a Peer Mentor session. Please talk with your counsellor about your Peer Mentor if you don't feel that way. We encourage you to discuss feelings about your treatment directly with your counsellor, who can then change your appointments to a different Mentor to accommodate you.

Is there a cost to be seeing a Peer Mentor?

There are no fees for meeting with a Peer Mentor or a counsellor.

Am I able to bring a friend to my Peer Mentor sessions?

Yes, if you feel more comfortable with another person and that person attends voluntarily. However, these sessions are designed for the specific mentee only. If your friend is interested in seeing a Peer Mentor, please let them know to ask their Student Life Mental Health Counsellor for more details.

How long will I have to wait for Peer Mentor appointment?

It depends on your availability, our availability, and an assessment of your needs. Your counsellor will be able to give you more details about the availability of the Peer Mentors.

Would I benefit from Peer Mentor sessions?

Everybody can benefit from having a Peer Mentor. Peer Mentors are there to listen and share experiences with mentees in order to help build connections, share experiences without judgment, practice new skills, and to help you fully benefit from your university experiences. Some examples of reasons to meet with a Peer Mentor include loneliness, challenges with self-esteem, stress, difficulties with social situations, seeking a listening ear, and being able to talk about concerns that you would like to keep confidential.

What if I need to talk, but my Peer Mentor and/or counsellor are not available?

Good2Talk is a free, confidential helpline providing professional counselling and information and referrals for mental health, addictions and well-being to post-secondary students in Ontario, 24/7/365. Students can reach Good2Talk by calling 1-866-925-5454 or by dialling 2-1-1 and asking to be connected to Good2Talk. If you are experiencing an emergency or mental health crisis, please call 911.

7 Cups is a free online resources that students can access.