UBC launches innovative peer wellness-coaching program

October 23, 2014

UBC has launched an innovative new peer wellness-coaching program designed to help students proactively deal with challenges and stressful situations. The peer wellness-coaching program, reportedly the first of its kind in Canada, trains student coaches to offer guidance and support to fellow students. The 2 students meet once face-to-face and develop a wellness plan with regular follow-ups via an online messaging portal. The program is meant to assist students before they reach a crisis point, by helping them establish coping methods; coaches can also refer students to other resources if the student is “clearly struggling.” “There’s not a lot of stigma attached to accessing a peer service, especially if it’s a coach. It’s perceived as being proactive, and it has a very positive connotation. The coaches are there to facilitate a process that allows their peer to identify their goals and then help them work towards those goals,” said Patty Hambler, Associate Director, Student Development & Services and co-developer of the program. UBC News