“Life Navigator” – Peer Mentor Scheme

Institution

Hang Seng Management College

Team Members

Leung Shuk Yuen
Zheng Yinqin
Lau Ka Wai
Lam Lai Man
Chang Tsz Kiu
Tang Chun Yu
Lau Wai Yip

Professional Advisor

Ms Yip Ho King , Rita
Counsellor
Student Affairs Office
Hang Seng Management College

Background

“Life Navigator” – Peer Mentor Scheme based on the rationale that students would prefer turning to a friend before a teacher, parent or spiritual guide at the time of crisis. Hence, building on this finding, a peer-to-peer programme was introduced to Hang Seng Management College (HSMC) campus. Through the recruitment of senior peer mentors and peer mentors, this project aimed at cultivating positive school atmosphere in the HSMC community. It is also based on five “key ingredients” that leads to an effective peer support intervention. These are (1) social support, (2) experiential knowledge, (3) trust, (4) confidentiality and (5) easy access.

Objectives

The “Life Navigator” – Peer Mentor Scheme is designed to cultivate caring positive atmosphere in the HSMC campus, to enhance HSMC students’ awareness of mental health; and to train a group of Peer Mentors who are able to identify and assist students with social adjustment and psychological needs, and make referral when necessary.

Methodology

Senior Peer Mentors who served as Peer Mentor last year were nominated as the key organizers in this project under supervision by counsellors and staff from Student Affairs Office. Senior Peer Mentor also supported the training of Peer Mentor and initiated meaningful campus caring activities in order to achieve project objectives.

This project has recruited 8 senior peer mentor and trained 21 Peer Mentors to organize a series of on-campus caring activities, to help their fellow students become socially acclimated to the College life and promote positive atmosphere in the HSMC community.

A series of training led by counsellors were held to equip the Peer Mentors with the knowledge and skills of helping people. These training activities included Mental Health First-Aid Course, over-night training camps and workshops. After participating in the training, Peer Mentor would show:
• enhanced knowledge of mental health and equip the skills to make referrals
• increased self-awareness and foster personal growth;
• cultivate empathy, basic coaching skills; and
• improved communication and interpersonal skills.

After training and under supervision of counsellors and student affairs staff, Peer Mentors designed and implemented campus caring activities for their fellow students, including:

  1. Set-up social media channels to enhance positivity;
  2. Mental health exhibition and game booths;
  3. Cheering stations during examination period;

Impacts and Outcomes

Senior Peer Mentors and Peer Mentors attended a series of trainings including a 2 Days 1 Night team building plus conflict resolution camp and Mental Health First-Aid Course before organizing campus caring activities. The major outcome of the trainings enhanced basic mental health knowledge and peer counselling skills of Peer Mentors. Furthermore, Mental Health First-Aid Course has helped Peer Mentors understand ways to identify and assist peer with mental health issues and learnt how to make appropriate referral.

4 activities were organized by Senior Peer Mentors and Peer Mentors. Since the programme started, Peer Mentor has launched a Facebook page to introduce the programme and cultivate a caring atmosphere.

Number of Beneficiaries

1383 students and staff