ACU and Stride Foundation launch innovative peer support program

Thursday, 6 March 2008

5 March 2008: Australian Catholic University (ACU) Ballarat Campus (Aquinas) in collaboration with Stride Foundation will present awards of recognition to students from the newly-established Peer Leadership Network, which aims to ease the growing pressures on tertiary students.

The Peer Leadership Program enables students to recognise peers who are experiencing difficulties with self confidence, work pressures, social isolation and schooling deadlines and trains students to offer practical advice to peers on seeking assistance from student services.

ACU Ballarat Campus Rector Professor Anne Hunt will join Sonya Tufnell from Stride Foundation to present 33 ACU students with an award badge in recognition of their participation in the Peer Leadership training program.  

 “Stride Foundation is proud to have worked collaboratively with ACU to create a new model of our program for the needs of tertiary students,” said Ms. Tufnell.

“It’s fantastic to see the enthusiasic students participating in the program and encouraging their peers to seek help.”

ACU Ballarat Campus (Aquinas) Psychologist and Student Counsellor Shannon Thomson said the program will enhance the relationship between the student body and the student services team.

“We developed the program in response to a delay in students presenting their problems to student services, and recent research shows young people are more likely to confide in their peers when experiencing stress.”

“It is hoped that the Peer Leaders will advocate the benefits of student services and assist in breaking down barriers so that students access supports sooner rather than later.”

Stride Foundation is a not-for-profit, non-government organisation dedicated to improving the physical, mental and social well-being of young people and their communities.

Australian Catholic University (ACU) - established as Australia’s only Catholic, national, publicly funded university - is open to all. The University empowers its students and staff with a strong sense of social responsibility and concern for the moral and ethical dimensions of their study and their professional and personal lives.