HFNE. Peer support for Universities

Our support groups are a safe, confidential place that allow students to talk and listen without judgement.

University peer support group

The issue

Mental health problems are on the rise in universities(1 in 4 students experience mental health problems), but support is fragmented. As the increase of reports of ill mental health in students rise, this has caused a restrain on the resources available. The waiting times to be seen for students have increased dramatically and counsellors are unable to cope with the demand. With a significant increase in suicide rates of university students more needs to be done.

Our solution

As there is a lack of support available; a student peer to peer program is a good way to fill this gap, by building a community of students that proactively look after their minds, stamp out the stigma of mental health and encourage collaboratively support in their group sessions. This method of support is low cost for the university and also has a domino effect, which is sure to reduce the pressure on counsellors and the long waiting times students and staff face for therapy.

Why the University peer to peer groups are unique

Sharing can be quite difficult, especially when the person across the table hasn't got a clue what you are talking about. Peer to peer groups are great because the students can all relate and are motivated to share more with their peers(who face similar issues) without feeling isolated.

The University peer support groups can be the first step in care and early intervention for students experiencing mild difficulties to access support as early as possible

The University peer groups are fantastic but are not an alternative to formal treatment.

What students need to know about our University student peer groups

Who runs the student peer groups?

Our student peer groups are run by HFNE trained student volunteers. There will always be two volunteers at each group session.

What are the University student peer groups like?

Our student groups are a safe, positive, friendly space where you can have a chat about anything you want to people who understand and are going through similar issues. You don't have to talk, you can just listen and even better you don't have to be there in person. You can call in and join the groups from wherever you are. This means you can manage confidentiality in whatever way you like.

You can read more about confidentiality within groups here.

The student peer groups are not an alternative to professional support. If you feel you need professional support then you should seek it from your local GP, university services or where you see fit.

Have you attended a student peer session?

Give us feedback

Our peer support framework for universities

What does HFNE offer?

We specialise in providing training and an ongoing framework for student volunteers. We ensure they have the skills(especially in understanding the boundaries they work within) and support needed to ensure they can effectively manage their respective student peer groups.

The core components of our volunteer training include:

  • Effective Listening skills.
  • Managing Confidentiality
  • Basic ground rules and the importance of boundaries.
  • Structuring a group session with defined goals
  • How to manage difficult situations, including talking about suicide, self harm etc
  • Managing a student community.
  • Understanding student mental health
  • Introducing Healthy attitudes
  • Time management

We provide training at your university and training can be booked for a minimum of 2 students on any day during the week.

Our training is then reinforced with bi weekly analysis and feedback from our volunteers. This feedback is then used to provide further training and skills development to the volunteers every 2 weeks.

Project Management

We:

  • Recruit the volunteers
  • Train the volunteers
  • Supervise & manage the volunteers
  • Collect feedback and analyse data from the volunteers
  • Provide ongoing training to the volunteers
  • Provide a resource centre to the volunteers(including templates, case studies and guides)
  • Update the volunteers on key findings, logistics and any compliance(reporting) obligations.

The cost

The cost for the academic year is £1350*.

What is included within this price?

Everything mentioned above and this price covers training for up to 6 volunteers per university.

*An extra £100 for every student after

Setting up a peer support group at your university

Set up a peer support group

you would like to set up a new peer support group at your university please get in touch with us at here and we will get back to you.

Volunteering to be a student peer support facilitator

As a student volunteer you will help support your peers who face mental health difficulties and this will give you the opportunity to make a huge difference at your university and add something unique to your CV.

But first we will have to train you so you have the skills needed to run a student peer group.

What will our training entail?

  • Effective Listening skills.
  • Managing Confidentiality
  • Basic ground rules and the importance of boundaries.
  • Structuring a group session with defined goals
  • How to manage difficult situations, including talking about suicide, self harm etc
  • Managing a student community.
  • Understanding student mental health
  • Introducing Healthy attitudes
  • Time management

Want to get involved?

Apply here

What does being a group facilitator involve?

Running safe support groups for students at your university Alongside another trained volunteer you will facilitate a confidential space for attendees to express themselves in a non-judgemental and pro-recovery environment. The role involves listening and facilitating group conversation, without providing advice or counselling to other students.

Promoting the group

You and your fellow volunteers will promote the group to students at your university and arrange for meeting space with your university.

Provide feedback to HFNE

We will notify you every 2 weeks to collect , analyse and provide you feedback on the data you have provided.

Time Commitment

8 hours a month
You will need a minimum of 1 academic year to volunteer for.

Ongoing support

We provide ongoing support, data analysis and feedback, a cache of online resources for different use cases, how to guides etc.

The student peer volunteer Application process

Make an application

We will interview you to understand your current skill set based on different scenarios

If you pass we will let you know and after which you can book your training. Training takes place at your university.

Have any questions about the application process or ? Please contact us: hello@halffullnotempty.co.uk