Helping Youth Cope with Day to Day Life
ABOUT PEER HELPING
Peer Helping is a variety of supportive services initiated by peers of elementary, middle and high school students in diverse settings. Peer Helpers are young people who are trained and supervised by professionals who adhere to the ethics and standards endorsed by the National Association of Peer Program Professionals. For High School Students, the Peer Helper program involves an accredited 17 week course in which life lessons are taught. A simular model can be adapted for middle school children based on the principals or mediation.
The program covers issues that affect the youth of today (i.e. parental divorce, weight issues, family sickness, death of a fellow student, depression, etc.) and Peer Helpers are trained how to listen, observe and help fellow students who may be struggling with problems.
Peer Helpers often become preventative agents who identify problems and encourage others to seek the necessary help from appropriate professionals.
PEER PROGRAMS - A LIFELINE FOR YOUTH
When a young person has a crisis or critical issue, he or she often doesn’t know where to turn for help. Even when their parents are available to listen and help, unfortunately they rarely confide in their parents. When dealing with a problem in their lives, teens will approach others, in this order:
2. School Faculty (counselors, teachers, etc.)
3. Community Leader (such as pastor)
4. Someone else
Because peers are the most likely to be aware and/or involved, the Jennifer Claire Moore Foundation has developed programs that both train educators and teach students how to recognize when a classmate or friend may be in trouble. These trained “Peer Coordinator” educators teach and guide “Peer Helper” students, who also assist in getting the best resources possible for fellow students in need. With appropriate training, peers are in a unique position to get the right help at the right time. Peer Helpers are taught how to listen, observe and help others, and ultimately create a support system for their fellow students. Peer Helper programs help deal with issues that may range from bullying/cyber-bullying, depression, suicide, divorce, dropout, drugs and alcohol, weight, self-esteem, and more.
Peer Helper programs are available for elementary, middle and high school as well as agencies operating outside a school-based curriculum. Peer programs provide students with opportunities for learning, guidance, emotional support and personal growth. These enhanced life skills can translate to reduced conflict, higher academic achievement, improved appreciation of individual differences, and increased service to others. At the high school level, the Peer Helper curriculum is taught in an accredited 17-week course based on the standards and ethics of the National Association of Peer Program Professionals. The course is adapted for middle and elementary levels. By helping others in programs that are peer-led, participants increase their own leadership skills and self-esteem. The Jennifer Claire Moore Foundation has been providing training, funding and support for successful peer programs since 1998.