Peer Support in Schools
What We Do
- Buckinghamshire Mind’s Peer Support in Schools service is one of a range of services offered by Buckinghamshire Mind. This service is available to both primary and secondary schools in Buckinghamshire.
- Our Children and Young People’s Services team will deliver training to sixth formers or Year 5/6 in mental health awareness and help them become Peer Supporters to the students in younger years. This training includes mental health awareness and key aspects of their role, such as their responsibilities, communication and listening skills and safeguarding.
- We will also help and support school staff to set up and run the Peer Support Service in school. For example, prepping assemblies, signposting, reminders of upcoming events such as World Mental Health Day, coffee mornings and top-up workshops. Schools can then add to this with training on other topics, for example, ‘How to resolve friendship conflict’ or ‘Coping strategies for exam pressures’.
- Different schools use different names, some call them ‘buddies’, ‘believers’ or ‘peer listeners’ but their role is universal. Furthermore, some schools work on a drop-in room basis or some work on a referral basis – this is solely down to how the schools wants to work it.
- We want to empower not only Peer Supporters but the whole school in tackling the stigma associated with mental health problems and encourage students to seek support as and when they need it.
Feedback from our Service
‘Because peer mentors are students I feel as though I can connect with my mentor – I guess it means we are able to understand each other very well and I am very comfortable discussing my thoughts and feelings with him.’ – Aylesbury Grammar School
‘It was a great opportunity to discuss our thoughts surrounding mental health and how to be good mentors.’ – Aylesbury High School
‘You realise how many ways you can help people and it has widened my mental health awareness.’ – St Mary’s CofE School, Amersham
‘Bucks Mind came in and provided our school with invaluable information and training about mental health and wellbeing. The children really engaged with the trainers and took on board the importance of this subject.’ – Teacher, Iver Heath Junior School
How to Access the Service
To find out more information about this service please contact Zoe Sole, Peer Support in Schools Lead, on 07508 021911 or email: [email protected]