Students at Trent University will be further supported through a new pilot project initiated by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), with almost $56,000 over two years in funding from Health Canada.
The new Campus Peer Support Canada pilot program will launch at five Canadian post-secondary campuses, including Trent, in partnership with local CMHAs, providing training for students with lived experience of mental health issues or substance use to help support students dealing with similar situations.
Students supporting other students
The new pilot will build on Trent’s successful Peer Support program that was launched in 2018, and which provides free, confidential space for students to receive support. The University’s program provides paid employment to students who have lived experience with mental health, to partner with students seeking peer support.
The program connected over 550 students in 2021 alone, and the new funding will be used to continue building the program at Trent, while sharing our program ideas and training with universities across the country.
“As part of our suite of mental health supports, our students can have an extraordinary impact on their peers by providing a listening ear and helpful strategies at difficult times,” says Dr. Nona Robinson, AVP Students at Trent University. “We have already seen the success that this program has had at Trent, and we are excited to partner with CMHA Haliburton Kawartha and Pine Ridge to help develop programming and share ideas that will assist our students, our local community, and campuses across Canada.”
In its initial stage, pilot programs have been launched in tandem at the University of Prince Edward Island, University of New Brunswick, Medicine Hat College, and the University of British Columbia.
The pilot project will bring together resources to provide in-person and virtual training and certification to up to 100 peer support students across the five pilot institutions, including at Trent. Building on this, the project will create a standard curriculum to be delivered to other institutes beyond the pilot phase.