Peer support has been gaining prominence as a promising avenue for youth to get help in their mental health journey.
All primary, secondary, and pre-university schools under the Ministry of Education have a peer support network of teachers and peer support leaders looking out for their peers’ mental well-being.
To play its part, the Labour Movement’s junior membership arm nEbO has also launched its Peer Supporters Programme in collaboration with Limitless Singapore.
“Studies have shown that having someone to talk to can help improve our mental health. As a strong advocate of mental wellness, nEbO works hard to train a group of youth as Peer Supporters – a vital part of the recovery journey. Peer Supporters are trained to spot signs of distress and offer effective emotional and social support. Find out more from nEbO! DM through @nEbOsg on Facebook and Instagram.”
If you are interested in becoming a peer supporter or in need of help, here are five tips to help you.
The tips are provided by Ivan Tan, a social worker from Limitless Singapore, the official partner for nEbO’s Peer Support Programme.
- Self-care is not selfish! You can’t be there for others if you don’t take care of yourself.
Knowing how you are doing, mentally and emotionally, is essential before you start supporting a friend. Make time for yourself to recharge. Starting a journal can also help you make meaning of the situation. As you care for yourself, you are role-modelling what healthy coping looks like for your friend.
- It’s OK to be not OK!
In life, we often have to adjust how we live and learn new ways to cope with stress. The struggle is real! So take a moment to tell yourself this is hard, and thank yourself for trying. You are doing your best!
- Mental health is a journey, not a destination.
The path to wellness is an ongoing process that takes us through the different stages of our lives. Along the way, things will get challenging, but this journey can also be rewarding. We will experience joy, hope, and love, eventually discovering more about ourselves as we persevere towards our purpose.
- Peer supporters are a vital part of the recovery journey
Studies have shown that having someone to talk to can help improve our mental health. Peer Supporters are trained to spot signs of distress and offer effective emotional and social support. Find out how you can be equipped with the necessary skills to be a Peer Supporter in your community.
- Your mental health challenges do not define you.
You may be going through pain, past hurts or anxiety. But you are NOT the problem. While it can feel that the issues have taken over a big of your life, you are more than that. You are still a valued parent, child, sibling, and friend. And you are the one who can make the changes needed for you to have a full life. Reach out and talk to someone today.