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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

Moneet

Moneet

Moneet (she/her) is a first-year MA student in the Criminology program with the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities. Having finished her undergraduate studies in Criminology and Sociology and previously working with Accessibility Services at the University of Toronto, she gained valuable insight and knowledge revolving around mental health and hopes to be to apply those skills for this role. Moneet believes that everyone should have access to mental health resources and have someone they can turn to in times of need as everyone has mental health. She is extremely excited to be joining the Peer Mentor team at Ontario Tech and hopes to be able to take an active role in the campus community.

 

Funmi

peer mentor

Funmi is a second-year Master’s student in the Forensic Psychology program. She completed her bachelor’s in psychology from the University of Lagos, Nigeria, gaining knowledge and skills in mental health and well-being. With experience shadowing professionals in different mental health settings, she hopes to transfer these skills to accompany students in their mental health journey. She understands that navigating university can be challenging and acknowledges that mentorship can be a form of succour. Her interest in people and her passion for mental health inspired her to join the Student Mental Health Services team as a Peer Mentor. Funmi aspires to make meaningful contributions to students’ mental well-being as a Peer Mentor.   

 

 

Michael

Michael

Michael is now in his  fouth- year PhD student in Criminology and it is his third year peer mentoring. 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

You may self-refer or a mental health counsellor may refer you to a Mental Health Peer Mentor in order to receive support from one of your Ontario Tech peers.  

What to expect:

  1. If you have self-referred to our Mental Health Peer Mentor program, your referral will go through our Student Lifeline intake process. If you have indicated thoughts of suicide, you will be scheduled with one of our Student Wellness Coordinators for a mental health intake appointment.  If you are not experiencing thoughts of suicide, you will be connected with a Mental Health Peer Mentor within a week.
  2. Alternatively, with your consent, a Student Wellness Coordinator or your Mental Health Counsellor can also reach out to a Mental Health Peer Mentor and provide them with your contact information.
  3. Your Mental Health Peer Mentor will email you to arrange a mutually convenient time to meet.
  4. You will have a 50-minute initial meeting with your Mental Health Peer Mentor to review confidentiality, your goals and/or your support needs.
  5. 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 by email. 
  6. 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 connecting with their mentees via Google Meet or telephone. The information below applies to in-person appointments once our campuses fully re-open for in-person services.

If you are meeting at the Downtown or North Oshawa campus locations, check in at the front desk when you arrive for any appointment. Your Peer Mentor will meet you in the waiting area. If you and your Mental 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.

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

If you are interested in seeing a Peer Mentor, you can self-refer, 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 can I still sign up?

If you are not registered but would like to see a Peer Mentor, you will can either self-refer or  request an intake appointment with a Student Wellness Coordinator, who can connect you with a Peer Mentor.

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. Sessions are usually once a week or every two weeks.

Can I see my Peer Mentor long-term?

You can continue to see a Peer Mentor 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 or 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.  If you would like to change mentors, please email studentlifeline@ontariotechu.ca to request this change. 

Is there a cost to be seeing a Peer Mentor?

There are no fees for meeting with a Peer Mentor or any student mental health services at the university.

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 about the referral process.

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

It depends on your availability, our availability, and an assessment of your needs. There is sometimes a short wait during busy times of the year.

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. Students meet with Peer Mentors for a variety of reasons including 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 dialing 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 peer support resource that students can access.