Peer2Peer used to develop student society

21st January 2019

Supporting the development of student society Positive Minds, at the University of Glasgow, was SRN Network Officer (West) Robert Stevenson’s highlight from 2018.

Singling out just one highlight from the year is extremely difficult. I have been fortunate to meet lots of inspirational people doing great work in communities across the west of Scotland over the last 12 months. I’m often reminded of the quote by the cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

 

If I had to select one highlight that meant a lot to me on a very personal level it would have to be meeting a small group of students from my old alma matter, the University of Glasgow.

Over 20 students turned up for the meeting on a wintry January evening. They had formed a new student society called Positive Minds to promote good mental health. They were concerned about the problems students were experiencing in accessing the University’s counselling service. Rather than simply complaining about this they decided to do something to help themselves and their fellow students.

They told me about their plans to set up a peer mentoring project delivered by students for students. I introduced them to the Peer2Peer learning materials. They have been using these materials to develop the skills of a group of peer mentors who are now providing one to one support to fellow students who are experiencing mental health problems.

The support that Robert and the SRN have provided to us has been invaluable. We train our peer supporters by working through activities from the SRN resources – and the feedback from all our members has been extremely positive. It has been extremely comforting to know that if any problems were to arise  – we would have Robert to turn to for expert advice. We are thrilled that our society is now up and running so successfully and we hope to maintain this relationship so that we can continue to develop and grow.

 

I was thrilled when they contacted me again a few months later to say that the project was going from strength to strength and that the group had won an award for the best new student society. I’m looking forward to going back to meet these inspirational students again to hear more about what they have been doing and plans for the future.

Robert

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