The Peer Support Group, supported by our Comprehensive Counselling Team, plays a vital role in enhancing the well-being of the community at UWC Thailand. This support is shown in a variety of ways:
A peer supporter who offers a listening service is a person who has been trained in counselling skills that include active listening, verbal and non-verbal communication, confidentiality, and problem-solving. Peer supporters who have completed certain training may then go on to offer support to their peers on a formal basis.
This involves peers educating peers on specific topics, such as coping with depression, anxiety, or addiction. This will generally include a group of peers of similar age, status, and background to the people to whom they are delivering material.
Peer tutoring is a model whereby a peer supporter aids a peer, whether of the same age or younger, with his or her academic and social learning. The support offered by the peer tutor can be cross-curricular and take the form of paired reading or paired writing.
One example of this would be a 'buddy' system in which people who have received certain training are attached to a new group and act as a friend, mentor, and guide to ease people into a new environment, e.g. a school, or hospital.
Another aspect of peer mentoring is that of a positive role model, involving a long-term commitment between the mentor and mentee. The peer mentor is linked to a mentee and has the role of befriender, listener, and mediator.
Conflict resolution is another name for peer mediation. Peer mediators are trained specifically in conflict resolution skills. They help people find solutions to disputes in formal and informal situations. It is unusual to find an organisation adopting just a peer mediation model, though such a model is often part of a fuller peer-support programme.