Peers and Supporters – How to Help

Students looking at book

How to Help a Friend

If you are concerned about a peer or student you know or have recognized some signs of distress , it’s important to understand there are many ways to help.

Listening attentively is one the most important things you can do.

If you don’t feel comfortable discussing this issue, you can:

If you feel comfortable, here are some suggestions to help you become an effective supporter:

  • Set up a time to talk that won’t be interrupted.
  • Set a positive tone.
  • Starting a conversation may be difficult. More Feet on the Ground has suggestion you may find helpful.
  • Listen attentively.
  • Express your concern and tell them you care.
  • Point out specific behaviors you’ve observed and ask questions that show you care.
“I’ve notice lately
you’ve been staying in
your room a lot
and not watching t.v. with
the rest of us like we usually do…”
“I’m concerned because
when we’re together you
seem very distant.”


  • Allow the student time to tell her/his story.
  • Be patient and remember silence is okay.
  • Focus on what the student is saying.
  • Let her/him know you’re glad she/he is sharing her/his issue with you.
  • Ask open-ended questions and encourage her/him to come up with solutions, for example:
“What do you think might help
in this situation?”
 “Will you tell me about
the options you do have?”


    • Let the student know you want to help, but remember you’re not a counsellor
      • Remind her/him many students talk to a counsellor, doctor and/or nurse, whether they have a few concerns or many. Students say talking with a professional helps if they feel overwhelmed, depressed or are worried about any issue with their mental health.


Have your resources available:

Personal Counselling x4750

(to make an appointment with a counsellor)

Student Health Services x3243

(to book an appointment with the mental health nurse or a physician)


      • It’s okay to take a “time-out” from the conversation if it gets too emotional. Acknowledge what’s happening and suggest taking a “time out.”
      • Make a plan to return to the conversation at another set time.
      • Before closing the conversation, make sure to direct her/him to the resources listed on this site.
      • Set a followup time and let her/him know when she/he can contact you should they need anything.


      If you are worried this is a crisis situation, call 911. The Campus Security team is here 24 hours a day and can be reached at 905 688 5550 x3200.

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    Student Health Services

    Located in Harrison Hall
    (next to Campus Security)
    Physicians and Mental Health Nurse
    905-688-5550 x3243

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    Personal Counselling

    Located in the Schmon Tower – ST400
    905-688-5550 x3240 (crisis)

    905-688-5550 x4750 (non-crisis/

    appointment booking)


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    Campus Security

    Located in the Kenmore Centre (across from the Walker Complex)
    905-688-5550 x3200 (crisis)
    905-688-5550 x4300 (non-crisis)

Crisis Services
at Brock

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    Brock Campus Security

    905-688-5550 x3200

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    In Case Of Emergency

    Call 911

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    Niagara Distress Centre

    905-688-3711 (support line)

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    Niagara Health System, St. Catharines Hospital

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    Personal Counselling

    905-327-2244 (emergency after hours)

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    24 Hours Post-Secondary Student Hotline (Good 2 Talk)


After Hours Crisis Resources