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News and events for University of Brighton students

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Peer support training – wellbeing

This year, course representatives and Student Union committee members have been offered enhanced peer support wellbeing training from SAFE TALK, on suicide prevention and  Samaritans ‘Learn to Listen’ training.

A number of students have taken up the chance for this free personal self-development and if you would like to join them in learning more about how to support your peers, including further training, please contact

We also have our Wellbeing Champions online training course, open to all students who want to learn more about building and maintaining wellbeing.

Student Jessica, attended the recent peer support training:

“Hello everyone,

My name is Jessica and I am currently in my final year of my degree in Social Science BA.

Recently I have had the opportunity to attend two peer support trainings at the university including, SafeTalk suicide prevention and Samaritans ‘learning to listen’ workshops.

I chose to attend these workshops because I am a course representative for level 6 Social Sciences students. Also, I have found myself in situations where people, even strangers, have opened to me with their concerns. I wanted to acquire the skills and knowledge to be a supportive listener and provide help when needed.

Both training sessions took place in a classroom with space for up to 15 students from different courses on two different days. The format of the workshops was mixed, combining elements of traditional lectures with interactive sections, including group discussions and activities. Participation was voluntary, allowing participants to engage as they felt comfortable.

Peer support plays a central role in promoting mental wellbeing in communities. Those affected often find it easier to open to peers who can empathise with their experiences on a personal level. In addition, non-judgmental and empathetic support can have a huge impact on those affected and reassure them that they are not alone.

During the SafeTalk workshop, I gained an insight into the sensitive topic of suicide prevention. I learnt how important it is to ask someone directly if they are thinking about suicide, even if it makes me uncomfortable. The realisation that I am not solely responsible for “saving” someone, but for putting them in touch with appropriate support services, has strengthened me.

The “Learning to listen” workshop made it clear how difficult it is to maintain a passive role while offering support. I realised that I tend to bring in personal experiences or give advice, which can unintentionally invalidate the other person’s feelings. Instead, actively listening without passing judgement or suggesting a solution proved to be more effective.

To my fellow students who are considering peer support training, I would encourage everyone who can take part to take the opportunity. Not only does the training provide invaluable skills to help others in times of need, but it also fosters personal development and empathy. Not to mention that the ability to listen empathetically and offer support can make a difference to someone’s life.

To summarise, I now feel more confident in my ability to offer support to those around me and promote a culture of compassion and understanding within our community.”

Hear from students Naomi and Abigail about why they think peer support is important.

Katy Croft • 13 March 2024

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