Lean on me: Students help students combat mental health concerns

Peer support program promotes positive mental health, builds supportive campus environment through informal resources

By Lauren Phillips, for the Campus Mental Health Strategy

Between classes, work and worrying about the future, university is no picnic — especially come exam time. For many students experiencing loneliness or stress, having a fellow student to lean on who has had similar experiences can take off some of the pressure and reduce strains on mental health.  

University of Calgary student initiative ManUp for Mental Healthresponded to the overwhelming desire for informal student resources through a peer support program that was adopted by the SU Wellness Centre in 2016. Recently, the program moved to the Campus Community Hub after opening in March 2017.

Amit Manocha, fourth-year biomedical science student and co-president of the UCalgary ManUp for Mental Health club, says transitioning peer support to UCalgary has been positive for students seeking resources. “As a student organization we had limited resources and could only offer peer support a few days a week,” Manocha explains.

“The SU Wellness Centre has expanded the program and made it easier for students to access resources. They recruit, train and support student volunteers from across campus who are passionate about mental health.”

Read the full article in UToday.