“Emotions are for everybody,” this is the Peer Counselling Association’s theme for the year 2016/2017. The Peer Counselling Association (PCA) comprises a team of UWI students – trained and supported by UWI’s Health Services Unit’s Counselling and Psychological Services (CAPS) – dedicated to the well-being of all students on campus by providing peer-to-peer interactive counselling and support.
Aimed at influencing positive behaviour change, the Peer Counselling Association strives to improve the students’ campus experience by addressing common psychological obstacles and experiences that may be a hindrance to both personal wellness and academic success at the University.
You may have seen the Peer Counselling Association at Guild Fest, where they distributed brochures about mental health, as well as engaged students in Jeopardy based games on the topics of mental health, and sexual abuse. Or perhaps you saw the PCA at the #NotAskingForIt Campaign on World AIDS Day 2016. However, there is a possibility that you did not interact with the PCA at all last semester.
The PCA wants every student to know that they are here, and they care.
The PCA offers the following services to students:
Time management assistance
For all those interested in accessing these services, the PCA invites you to complete this online form.
This semester the PCA will continue to work closely with CAPS, assisting with their Lunchtime Seminars, and their Unwind Your Mind initiative. The Lunchtime Seminars are short workshops aimed at helping students recognize a certain issue and deal with it accordingly. While the Lunchtime Seminars are aimed at building students’ capacity to deal with particular issues, the Vibes on the Greens, which will take place at LRC Greens on March 15th is aimed at helping students relax, and “unwind their minds”. On this day there will be a variety of activities aimed at relaxation, as well as foods and beverages in which to indulge. In addition to these initiatives, the PCA will strive to make itself more present on campus and more available to meet the needs of students.
Last semester the PCA joined the Guild’s Office of the Secretary to assist in the #NotAskingForIt Campaign, therefore, students can also look forward to seeing the PCA active in areas related to the campaign. The #NotAskingForIt campaign is the joint effort of the University of the West Indies campuses across the Caribbean (Mona, Cavehill and St. Augustine) to educate, sensitize and create the institutional and cultural change needed to combat gendered violence specifically RAPE. The PCA is supporting this Guild initiative by conducting events which aim to achieve the following objectives:
- To sensitize persons on psychological and social consequences of rape for victim and perpetrator
- To promote the awareness of incidences of rape for both men and women, and clarifying misconceptions about rape
- To provide services for coping with violence against women and men
Any student may join the PCA in this campaign by filling out this online form.
Would you like to join the Peer Counselling Association? If you are interested in your well being, and the well being of your peers, this may be the organization for you. In order to become a PCA member, you must complete the Co-curricular course Mind the Gap, and complete a PCA Outreach program. The Outreach programs for the year 2016/2017 are: 1) Cyril Ross Nursery engagement, and (2) Child Welfare League Workshops + #NotAskingForIt Campaign work. Each Outreach program aims to help budding peer counsellors utilize, and hone skills such as active listening, empathy, risk assessment, and other skills which they would have learned through the Mind the Gap course.
“No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit.”
― Ansel Adams