Peer Mentors lead the way in college student support

Students from Barton Peveril have been celebrating after being chosen to lead the way in college peer mentor support for World Mental Health Day and beyond.

11 students from the sixth form college have successfully completed an Emotional First Aid and Wellbeing Mentors Development Programme driven by the Solent NHS Trust. Barton Peveril are
the first college taking part in the pilot, since its successful rollout in regional schools.

The sixth month course led by Paul Jetten from the Solent NHS Trust saw students learn about anxiety management, promoting self-esteem and confidence, recognising stress and
child protection.

He said: “what has been incredible is the involvement, enthusiasm and creativity of the students. They’ve taken some key concepts and built a well-being mentor service that has been well received and is being embedded across the college. Their drive and determination has already seen some inspiring mentoring taking place which has already made such a difference to the lives of students attending Barton Peveril.”

Following their training, the students then put their new skills into practice by becoming peer mentors to others, helping them address their levels of anxiety, stress, and mental health
and wellbeing.

Helen Cunliffe, Barton Peveril’s Senior College Counsellor said: “The student wellbeing mentors have offered one to one support to students who’ve felt overwhelmed or anxious. They’ve also helped others with revision techniques and exam stress. Our peer mentors have thoroughly enjoyed being part of this NHS scheme and we are proud to be leading the way with college student support.”

As well as one to one appointments with current students, the peer mentors have also helped out at events such as Introductory Days and Open Evenings to support new students.

So far the feedback has been positive all round – some students said they thought it would be awkward talking to someone their own age, but the mentors really helped, whilst others said they valued the support in the transition from school to college.

Stuart Gemmell from the Solent NHS Trust attended a celebratory event at college to congratulate the students for completing the programme. Due to the success of the scheme, Barton Peveril plans to continue peer mentor support for this academic year, to ensure that all students have access to peer mentors if they need or want to.

Student Peer Mentors Elena Toma, Sian Chapman, Verity Rouse, Immy May
Student Peer Mentors Elena Toma, Sian Chapman,
Verity Rouse, Immy May

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