The Counselling Centre

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Job ID: 1417 on For more information

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Indigenous Peer Supporter

Position Description

The Saint Mary’s University Indigenous Peer Supporter works as a helpful liaison for students to access Counselling, Career Services and other student services in order to help them excel at Saint Mary’s University. Working with the established Peer Support program they provide coaching to students with mental health challenges and career questions but also build relationships with Counselling Centre and Career Services staff in order to provide information and connections to students who may have barriers to accessing services to support their well-being and employment/career goals.

Position Summary

  • Form supportive, coaching relationships with students who have mental health challenges in The Wellness Centre, 1st floor Student Centre
  • Work in collaboration with the Indigenous Student Advisor, the Indigenous Student Society, the on-campus Elder and ‘Indigenous Drop-in Services’.
  • Provide support by modeling positive personal coping strategies and academic success skills.
  • Support fellow students by facilitating self-reflection and growth, building confidence, and encouraging healthy lifestyle choices and positive coping strategies, within the parameters of a peer support relationship.
  • Act as a liaison in order to support access to mental health services and Career Services when required.
  • Build professional relationships with Career Services staff and Counselling Centre staff to understand services available to Indigenous students and to make informed referrals.
  • Provide input and information to Counselling staff, Career Services staff, Indigenous Advisor and other relevant staff members to design programming and services that meet the needs of Indigenous students through consultation with students on campus.

Benefits for Student Peer Support Worker 

  • Training in: mental health education; peer helping skills; responding to a mental health crisis; positive coping strategies; learning strategies; and stigma reduction.
  • Opportunity for self-reflection and personal growth.
  • Develop transferable skills relevant to future career aspirations (teaching, counseling, health promotion, and other “helping” roles).
  • Student Peer Support Workers who successfully complete the program will receive payment biweekly equal to $5000.00 (minus taxes) for the work term of August 26, 2019 - April 19, 2020 (34 weeks).
  • Cultural Flex (time to attend ceremonies, planned events and other relevant on campus initiatives).


  • 2nd year or above with good academic standing in 2018/19
  • Available to attend approximately 25 hours of mandatory training August 27-29, 2019 (Halifax)
  • Available to provide weekly peer support in the Wellness Centre (3 hours/week) between 9am-5pm Monday-Friday, (3 hours/week) for promotion meetings
  • Registered and attending classes

  Skills and Experience

  • Interest in providing personal support to fellow students
  • Personal experience or interest in career counselling services
  • Strong communication and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to listen and convey empathy and acceptance
  • Self-reflective, mature, and reliable
  • Lived experience of Indigenous identity will be considered an asset
  • A high degree of self-awareness and capacity to apply appropriate boundaries
  • Experience providing personal support and forming helping relationships an asset (mentoring, tutoring, or coaching)
  • Experience with peer support modalities, whether receiving support or in a leadership role an asset
  • Experience with overcoming a personal, mental health or academic challenge.  Personal experience with overcoming a mental health challenge is considered an asset; please self disclose.
  • Awareness and sensitivity to diversity and equity issues
  • A valid criminal record check
  • Awareness of on campus resources


  • Participate in weekly peer support activities. These may include, but are not limited to: the drop-in centre; structured group activities; or meeting with students individually. Commitment of 7 hours per week on average required. (4 hours in office, 3 outside of office with meetings and promotion).
  • Participate in all mandatory training sessions offered throughout the duration of the contract.
  • Meet twice a month with the position supervisor and submit weekly logs of support sessions, or as determined by these two entities.
  • Attend monthly campus team meetings.
  • Meet with the Indigenous Student Advisor as required.
  • Attend support network meetings with all student peer support workers across the 5 partner universities (approx. every 4 weeks).
  • Address any concerns with the peer you are supporting and promptly notify the Program Coordinator or Campus Support Person of any issues. Concerns might include: decrease in student's physical or mental health or concerns for safety.
  • Adhere to program policies regarding confidentiality and boundaries.
  • Contribute to the organizing and delivery of Mental Health 101/202/303 presentations to staff and faculty on campus.
  • Meet with Career Services and Counselling Centre staff related to various aspects of services to build liaison relationships and attend one staff meeting per semester.
  • Adhere to University policies.

 To apply:  Please send a cover letter, resume and a list of three references to Daniel Abar by email to  Applications are due by noon on August 16th, 2019.

All applicants are strongly encouraged to access Career Services for assistance with their cover letter and resume.  For more information on the work of Peer Support drop into The Wellness Centre, 1st Floor Student Centre and speak with one of the Peer Supporters.


Our service is available to all registered and attending Saint Mary's University students. We offer individual personal counselling, academic & life skills coaching, consultations and group education sessions. Our team of professionals will help you meet your academic and personal goals. We understand how stressful university life can sometimes be and how making small changes can have a huge impact. Our staff are generalists in their training with experience working with University students.

Academic Year (September - May) Hours of operation:
8:30am - 12:00pm; 1:00pm - 4:30pm
Summer (June - August) Hours of Operation:
8:30am - 12:00pm; 1:00pm - 4:00pm 

We try our best to respond as quickly as possible to meet the needs of our students. Please Note: We are not an emergency clinic therefore we will refer all emergencies to the QEII Emergency Department (for ages 19 years old and over), located on Robie Street or the IWK Emergency Department (for 19 years of age and under), located on South Street.

Find information for new and returning clients below as well as more information about our many services and resources in the tabs on the side of the page.

New to Our Service

Personal Concerns


Intake is a 30 minute long booked appointment for students new to counselling who may be unsure of how counselling might be useful and gives us an overview of what is happening. This appointment is with our Intake & Programs Coordinator.

 Intake appointments are booked at various times throughout the week! Call 902-420-5615, or email to schedule! 


Single Session

Single session is a 30 minute long booked appointment for returning clients who have not used our service for over 1 year or longer or who are not able to return to their original Clinician. This appointment will reassess the needs of the client. Further counselling may or may not be needed. This appointment is with a Clinical Therapist/Psychologist.

Academic and Life Skills Coaching

The Counselling Centre has a variety of services and resources to meet your academic needs as a student including individual coaching sessions with the Intake & Programs Coordinator. Visit our Academic and Life Skills Coaching Page to learn more about the options available to you. 

Returning Clients

Returning clients (seen within the year) are welcome to book an appointment for personal counselling and/or academic & life skills coaching directly by:

Contacting us:
(P) 902-420-5615
Dropping by our office:
4th Floor Student Centre, SC406
(turn right once you get off the elevator)
Or book online:

Book An Appointment Button


Other Resources

The following resources are meant to guide. Depending on the nature of the need, feel free to contact one of the below resources.


Good2Talk is a free, confidential helpline for post-secondary students in Nova Scotia. By calling Good2Talk, students can receive information and referrals about services and supports for mental health, addictions and well-being on and off campus or speak anonymously with a professional counsellor. Fore more information visit:


I.M. Well

Free 24/7 counselling for Saint Mary's University students in various languages. Contact number 1-877-234-5327. More information, as well as the app downlaod at:


Therapy Assistance Online (TAO) is an e-mental health resource that can be accessed at: (go to My pathways)

Healthy Minds App

For more information on mental health and life balance please visit

Healthy Minds is now available for free for iPhone, iPad, iPad mini and iPod Touch through the App Store or through and, where printable promotional materials are also available.

Transitions Booklet

Transitions is a free mental health booklet. To view the booklet please click the link .

Other Counselling Initiatives

The Counselling Centre has various mental health initiatives we have developed which include: how to help a student in distress, and SMU Talks for Faculty and Staff.

Learning more about Mental Health: Mental Health Advocates

The Counselling Centre has developed an online program to learn more about a variety of mental health related subjects. If completed, the Mental Health Advocates program also offers 20hours towards CCR. 

Mental health Roadmap for SMU students 


University Security Emergency Line (24 hours)
Residence Services Front Desk (24 hours)
Emergency Police & Fire
QEII Emergency Department- 19 and over
Located on 1799 Robie Street
IWK Emergency Department- 19 and under
Located on South St. (near Robie St.)


(EFAP provider) Shepell*fgi (24 hours)  
Aspiria Student Assistance Program(for International Students)
Mental Health Mobile Crisis Team (24 hours)
or 1-888-429-8167(toll free) 
The Counselling Centre(Sept – May 8:30am-4:30pm:June – Aug 8:30am-4pm: Closed 12-1pm)
The Student Health Services (Fall/Winter/Spring Semesters 9am-4:30pm:Summer Semester 9am-4pm:Closed 12:30-1:30pm)(After-Hours) Family Focus
SHS Website
Family Focus Website
Avalon Sexual Assault Centre(8:30am-4:30pm; closed 12:30-1:30pm)
Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) 24 hour Response Line