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Why you should become a Peer Helper

Peer HelpingI am here to make a public service suggestion for all my fellow students returning to UVic:

Become a Peer Helper.

Seriously. Don’t know what it is? I’ll tell you. Don’t have the skillset? We’ll train you. Want to become a better person, a better friend? Become a Peer Helper.

You can apply here: http://peerhelping.uvic.ca/involved.html

We peer helpers are trained to provide basic counselling. This means learning how to listen. How to support. How to have tact. How to help someone get through a difficult time in their life. And while, yes, we staff two offices – one in the SUB, and one in the library – I’ve found I use all these skills far more in the real world than anywhere else, be it by consoling a distressed roommate, listening to a friend, or counselling a sibling.

I have become a better and more attentive listener (crucial for my acting), become a better confidant, and become a better friend. I have counselled strangers in the grips of depression. I have made a difference in people’s lives.

We are all also trained in the life skills of time management, how to study, how to write exams, and other areas so that we can help people as best we can.

The main focus of the program is to train you, and me, and all peer helpers, to have the skills and abilities to emotionally and academically support the people around us. Isn’t that worthwhile?

The requirements: We go on an awesome weekend training retreat in early September to an absolutely beautiful camp. After that, you staff an office for an hour a week, go to weekly training (‘microskills’) for an hour and a half each week at a time that fits your schedule, and do some committee stuff. For example, on the International committee this term, I’ve spent an hour each week at the ELC Study Centre on campus, helping students with their English. Other committees put on free workshops, create free coffeehouse meeting places for students, and other ventures. So, not too tough on the scheduling.

The program has the potential to be an absolute blessing in your life, and I really do hope you can join me in being a part of it.

So join up!        http://peerhelping.uvic.ca/involved.html .

If possible, aim to do so before the end of March. Let me know if you have any more questions.

Thank you!

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