- Visitors & Friends
- About the University
A range of services led by students are available to help provide support to other students.
Student Peer Supporters are available at participating colleges and departments to talk with you informally about anything that is concerning you. All Peer Supporters have been carefully selected and trained to take up this role, and receive ongoing support and supervision through the University Counselling Service.
The programme was developed in recognition of the essential role students play in supporting and encouraging one another on a day-to-day basis throughout their time at university. Students are likely to look to each other first for help in thinking through issues and for emotional support but there are times when this can leave friends feeling out of their depth, unsure how best to help but anxious about seeking advice for fear of betraying trust. The Peer Support Programme seeks to better equip students for this role, enabling them to feel more confident in supporting their peers and more aware of the professional support networks available to them and how to access these. The Peer Support Programme has been embraced by a University Review as an integral part of the University’s welfare provision.
Who are the Peer supporters?
Peer Supporters are undergraduate and graduate students of the University. They have formally applied for this role and have been selected by the Peer Support Panel in their college or department in consultation with a professional Peer Support trainer and the college’s Senior Common Room (SCR). They have received training to enable them to listen effectively, communicate sensitively, maintain confidentiality, respect boundaries and recognise when and how to encourage referral to professional support services.
Peer Supporters attend ongoing fortnightly supervision through the University Counselling Service to consolidate their training, develop skills and ensure that they are not over-committed. All Peer Supporters abide by a Code of Practice.
How Peer support can help
Peer Support offers an easily accessible and relatively informal opportunity to talk through issues which may be concerning you. Often it can help simply to get things off your chest or to know that someone is genuinely willing to listen and take time to understand what’s on your mind. Sometimes just talking things through is enough; sometimes it may lead you to seek more professional help.
It is important to emphasise that Peer Supporters are not counsellors and, where appropriate, they may encourage you to seek more formal support through college welfare, your GP or the University Counselling Service.
How do I find a Peer Supporter?
You should contact one of the trained peer supporters in your college or department. There are currently 27 colleges involved in the Oxford University Peer Support Programme, together with the Said Business School and the University Medical School; each college has a panel of 6-12 trained Peer Supporters, with new students trained each year to take the place of those moving on. Approximately 350 Peer Supporters are active in the University at any one time.
- Christ Church
- Corpus Christi
- Lady Margaret Hall
- Medical School
- New College
- Regent’s Park
- St Anne’s
- St Catherine’s
- St Edmund Hall
- St Hilda’s
- St Hugh’s
- St John’s
- St Peter’s
- Said Business School
OUSU Student Advice Service
Oxford University Student Union (OUSU) runs a Student Advice Service which aims to provide a space for students to talk over their worries in confidence, and to offer information on a range of issues which students might encounter during their time at Oxford. For information about the members of the service and how to contact them see the OUSU website.
Run for and by students, Nightline provides every student in Oxford with the opportunity to talk to someone about anything they like. A completely independent, non-judgmental listening, support and information service, with no political, religious or moral bias, the service also provides information, from taxi numbers to the addresses of clinics and other support networks. You may phone on a landline or mobile (reversed charges accepted), call on Skype (username is oxfordnightline) or drop in at the flat for coffee and a chat. There are always two people in the office, one male and one female. Strict confidentiality is assured and you do not have to give you name. The Nightline flat is at 16 Wellington Square (tel. (2)70270), and is open from 8 pm until 8 am every night during term and during the weeks immediately before and after each term.