Launching Peer Support Programs on College Campuses
Tuesday, March 26, 2019
2:00 PM ET / 11:00 AM PT
From lack of availability or diversity in counseling centers to lack of comprehensive services to financial barriers, college students seeking help for their mental health often have limited options. Many are turning to peer support programs as a way to receive support, connect and improve their wellbeing.
Interest in campus peer programs is growing, yet student leaders are often concerned about how to start and sustain a program and may face barriers to institutional buy-in like fear of liability or stigma. Even with these challenges, students across the country are leading the way in developing their own programs.
This 90-minute webinar will feature presentations from Project LETS and The Support Network, two examples of successful campus peer support models. Participants will explore:
- The history and basics of each model;
- Lessons learned in launching and sustaining programs; and
- How to get involved or create similar programs on their campuses.
Join leaders in campus mental health transformation and get your questions answered!
About the presenters:
Stefanie Lyn Kaufman (She/They) is the Executive Director of Project LETS. They are a queer, disabled, autistic & mentally ill community organizer and graduate from Brown University, with two BA's in Medical Anthropology and Contemplative Studies. In 2013, they founded Project LETS after the suicide of a friend; and living with their own neurodivergent experiences. Stefanie approaches their work with various lived experience, including: psychiatric and physical disability, sexual assault, and suicide; and from an anti-oppressive, disability justice framework. They are invested in and committed to disrupting multiple systems which disproportionately discriminate, harm, and kill mentally ill and neurodivergent folks worldwide. Through LETS, they developed the Peer Mental Health Advocate (PMHA) program. PMHAs are students who have lived experience of mental illness, trauma, disability, and/or neurodivergence, and work one-on-one with students in long-term peer support and advocacy partnerships. PMHAs are trained to assist students through the process of seeking adequate mental health care, while remaining mindful of financial barriers, cultural barriers, and myriad other factors that can prevent access to some forms of treatment.
Bobby Dishell is on the Advisory Team at The Support Network and is a student at the University of Colorado Law School in the Tax Emphasis Program. Upon graduation, he hopes to work on public-private partnerships, real estate, public finance, or food law. Bobby co-founded the Wolverine Support Network during his time as Student Body President at the University of Michigan. After his time at Michigan, Bobby spent two years in Baltimore as a Teach for America Corps Member where he was a founding member of Happy Teacher Revolution and currently serves as an advisor. Bobby is passionate about mental health, peer support, urban gardening, and community development. Bobby's leadership and work have been featured in Endzone (#6 NY Times Best Selling Book), Wall Street Journal, ESPN, Education Week, Detroit Free Press, GQ, Forward, and other publications.