Derby College Group has expanded its peer mentor programme after a successful pilot.
A second group of students, based at The Joseph Wright Centre Post-16 Academic and Arts college have now been trained to provide emotional support for their peers – joining the original student peer mentors based at the Broomfield Hall Land-based and Leisure college in Morley.
Their first event coincided with Time to Talk Day recently where students joined the peer mentors for tea and biscuits to raise the profile of their role.
A-level student Hannah Parker (16) is one of the new peer mentors. She is aiming to work in mental health in the future and was keen to support fellow students.
“I think students may be more comfortable to talk about their feelings and issues with someone of a similar age who can relate to what they are going through.”
Fellow A level student Sam Higton (17) added: “It can be stressful coming to a new place and making new friends – combined with the stress of exams so I wanted to train to be a peer mentor.
“There is a stigma attached to mental health and it is important that we focus on well-being – giving students the opportunity to talk about their feelings and any anxieties that they have.
“Our role is to be a listening ear and signpost them to services within the College if that’s what they want.”
Director of Services for Students Helen Jefferson concluded: ““We have a wide range of support in place for students but it is important to empower our own student body to help each other.
“Having piloted the peer mentor programme at Broomfield Hall we are now rolling this out across the group.”