Peer Support Group Offers Opportunities to Address Mental Health Issues
A twice-monthly peer support group on campus is designed to help students address their mental health issues with the assistance of peers and professionals. A cross-campus collaboration, the sessions are organized by Dr. Chris Noel, visiting associate professor in the Wegmans School of Pharmacy, and facilitated by two graduate students in the mental health counseling program in the Wegmans School of Nursing.
“The graduate students help guide the conversation and offer coping skills or other recommendations for treatment,” Noel said.
The Peer Support Group has been in existence for several semesters, and this fall, will be offered in-person and Zoom on alternating nights to accommodate on-campus students and those enrolled in online pathways or who may be in quarantine due to COVID.
The support groups are designed to be judgment-free zones, where students can find camaraderie among others who might be going through similar struggles. The group also offers support for students who have family members who struggle with their mental health.
“It’s a shared experience and there is an understanding that everyone deals with these issues; no one is totally immune, and everybody has a story to share,” Noel said, adding that support groups offer one way to figure out next steps in addressing a concern.
Additionally, attending a support group is a great way to connect with resources or figure out next steps in addressing a concern, such as whether or not to seek additional help. “Come with your questions and concerns – big or small – and we’ll figure it out together,” he said.
Upcoming sessions will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 4 via Zoom; 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 18 in Basil 211; 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 2 via Zoom; and at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 16 in Basil 211.
For more information about the support group, email Noel at email@example.com.