and mental wellbeing for children and young people
Students supporting their peers as part of a whole school approach is powerful way to:
- enable student voice to be heard
- supportYP wellbeing in primary and secondary settings.
There are lots of models and approaches - Peer Mentors / Wellbeing Ambassadors / Wellbeing Warriors (?!) / Antibullying Team / Playground Buddies et al. Whatever they are called they needconsiderable commitment - 'training'; adult support (including 'buy-in' from SLT and across the school) and resources, from space in school to physical resources to engage potential mentees.
Their are significant differences between peer support and peer mentoring (although language can be fluid) In terms of sustainability / accessibility we believe developing a model of peer support initially - with supporters offering a a buddy / safe space approach alongside help-seeking support - is more likely to lead to a sustainable model.
The DfE document: Peer support and children and young people’s mental health Research review, March 2017 by Coleman, N et al sets out some characteristics of successful / failed approaches. (NB the Anna Freud project referenced below - has more up to date research findings).
Recommended resources / programmes
Resources to develop a peer mentoring programme supporting mental health and wellbeing.
The peer mentoring toolkit is designed so that staff can deliver the training in a flexible way to suit the needs of the group. Within the tool kit there is guidance on how to set up and run peer mentoring to suit the needs of the young people in your setting. There are different versions of the toolkit for Primary (aged 8-11) and Secondary (aged 11-18).
Our Peer Mentoring programmes are based on young people supporting each other; matching peer mentors with mentees in one-on-one friendships so that they can provide guidance and support, serving as positive role models. Our programme enables Peer Mentors to listen and support fellow pupils (mentees); helping them deal with the current challenges they may be struggling with. (not just bullying)
Worth a look (limited in scope)
The Anti-Bullying Ambassador Programme equips students and staff with the tools needed to tackle bullying behaviour head on, transform your school’s approach to anti-bullying and create a safer, kinder school community. Our Programme is youth-led, with your students leading their anti-bullying campaign as Anti-Bullying Ambassadors.