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Health Promotion

Listening Ear: Peer Support Groups

Students often face mental health challenges and high levels of stress during their time in college. We know this is also true at DU: 70% of DU students have felt overwhelming anxiety at some point in the past 12 months (NCHA, Spring 2019). Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health issues are increasing due to uncertainty, constantly adapting, or lack of social connections and isolation. According to an Active Minds survey from April 2020, 1 in 5 college students reported that their mental health significantly worsened under COVID-19. Also, a 2020 Healthy Minds Network survey shared that 60% of college students indicated that the pandemic has made it more difficult to access mental health care. We also repeatedly hear anecdotes from students about experiencing barriers to access mental health support, or how they might only be looking for a space to process with others who are going through similar situations, as opposed to seeking clinical services.

Free Peer-to-Peer Support Program

Our observations and data show that mental health continues to be a top concern amongst our students. With that, Health Promotion in collaboration with the Thrive Peer Educators provides student-led, free, peer-to-peer support program to regularly offer students, both undergraduate and graduate, opportunities for connection and processing in a supportive environment. There is significant research on peer-to-peer support outreach both benefitting the supported and the supporter, which in turn can benefit the community.

The peer support groups are led by trained peer facilitators. Peer facilitators do not treat or give advice but take on the role of empathizing and listening to their peers. They also help designate the discussion topics for each biweekly group meeting.

Please check Crimson Connect for registration information. For questions or more information, please contact hcc.thrive@du.edu. 

Note: Peer support group members are encouraged to make a biweekly commitment to attend the support group for the entire quarter. Everyone's weekly attendance promotes feelings of safety and trust amongst the group. It is also expected that peer support group members will stay for the entirety of each session, barring extreme circumstances.

Listening Ear: Peer Support Groups flyer