The Counselling Centre

Peer Support

“Peer support is a system of giving and receiving help founded on key principles of respect, shared responsibility, and mutual agreement of what is helpful. Peer support is not based on psychiatric models and diagnostic criteria. It is about understanding another’s situation empathically through the shared experience of emotional and psychological pain.”

(Mead, Hilton & Curtis, 2001, p. 135)

On this page:
What is Peer Support at SMU?
When are Peer Supporters working?
Who are they?
How can I see a Peer Supporter?

 

What is Peer Support at SMU?

Peer Supporters are students who have lived experience dealing with mental health concerns. These students are trained with the Stay Connected Mental Health Project and The Counselling Centre to support their peers by offering active listening, goal-setting, and resource referral. As students, Supporters understand how stressful university life can be. Peer Supporters are here to help with a lot of mental health concerns including managing stress, coping strategies, relationship problems, and referrals to other important resources. Peer Support focuses on health, self-care and recovery rather than on illness.

Peer Support focuses on health and recovery rather than on illness.

 
When are Peer Supporters working?
 
Winter (Jan - April) Drop in hours:
 
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursday

1:45pm - 3:15pm

with Alexa

11:30am - 12:30pm

with Kyle

10:30am - 12:30pm

with Dwina

10:45am - 12:45pm

with Kyle

 

1:30pm - 3:30pm

with Dwina

1:45pm - 3:45pm

with Alexa

 

 

3:30pm - 4:30pm

with Kyle

   
 

Alexa Tymkiw

 

Alexa is a fourth-year student from the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. Majoring in biology and psychology, she plans to pursue a career in medicine, specializing in pediatrics. Alexa became involved with on-campus mental health initiatives through her experience as a member of the SMU women’s soccer team, and continues to advocate for the importance of mental health awareness and the careful attention that it requires. Alexa is attentive and passionate about the wellness of others. She is a devoted listener and empathetic individual who believes in the importance of compassion and approaches mental health advocacy with the mindset to “build a longer table, not a higher fence.”

Dwina Boolakey

 
Dwina

Dwina is from Mauritius, a tropical island in the Indian Ocean and she speaks English, French and Mauritian Creole. Dwina is in her fourth year at Saint Mary’s University (SMU) and is doing a double major in Accounting and Finance. Dwina is currently working as an Accounting Associate and has worked as a Residence Services Office at SMU for the past two years. Dwina also volunteers at the Canadian Cancer Society. Dwina enjoys spending her free time with her loved ones, playing the guitar and taking care of herself. Dwina hopes that she can make a positive impact on her peers through this role.

Kyle Hiscock

 
Kyle

Kyle is a fifth year Computer Science student from Newfoundland. He loves music, rainy days and being near the ocean. Having worked as an RA in the Residence Department for three years, Kyle believes in building communities and helping students get involved. Kyle feels that staying connected on campus helps students to grow personally, professionally, and makes University a more satisfying experience. Kyle loves to chat and meet new people, if you see him around be sure to say hi!

 

How can I see a Peer Supporter?

Peer Support is a free, confidential, drop-in service located on the first floor of the Student Centre (Room 106) in the SMUSA Wellness Centre.

To contact a Peer Supporter, please email peer.support@smu.ca.

To stay connected with us, please visit The Counselling Centre Facebook page Instagram, and twitter. 

Peer Support is not an emergency service. For Saint Mary’s University students requiring immediate assistance, please contact I.M Well 1-877-234-5327 or Mental Health Mobile Crisis Team at 902-429-8167. For non-immediate need contact Good2Talk 1-833-292-3698.