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FEELS Peer Support Circle

feels support circle

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Every Wednesday 6:30-7:30pm and Friday 2:30-3:30pm

What’s the purpose of this mental health peer support group?

FEELS Peer Support Groups are mental health support spaces by students for students. This group is a space to connect with fellow Hokies who are navigating their mental health concerns and exploring how to maintain their emotional well-being.

Although mental health concerns and/or mental illness may come up in group, this support group does not constitute as / is not a substitute for mental health treatment or counseling / psychological services. Support groups differ from therapy groups in this way. However, many students find that support groups and peer spaces provide the help they need to work on the shared challenges they are facing and the helpful coping strategies they are exploring.

What can I expect from FEELS Peer Support Group co-facilitators?

FEELS facilitators are undergraduate or graduate students who will use ongoing training and supervision— potentially along with personal (lived) experiences of illness or struggle and recovery —to support their peers. Their main role is to keep discussion on track and on time; they will not be particularly instructional in order to honor group members’ time, space, & self-directed needs. It is not necessarily their role to resolve interpersonal blocks/struggles between group members.

Participants can expect FEELS facilitators to...

  • nurture an atmosphere of mutual respect & empathy

  • maintain the focus of the group

  • role model their unique experience of mental health recovery

  • ensure safety during group sessions

  • foster open and honest communication in the group setting

  • encourage their peers in their own efforts to reclaim & maintain mental/emotional wellness

What should I know about sharing something in group?

Content: It can be helpful to provide 1-2 words about the content of what you’re sharing to allow participants to remain informed and care for themselves as topics arise.

Limitations: Know that sometimes folks may disclose information that exceeds group members’ abilities to respond adequately and in these situations, the co-facilitators may intervene. Additionally, while it is expected that what is shared in the group remains here, this cannot be guaranteed. The facilitators are considered mandated reporters in this support group setting.

Questions or Concerns?
Contact: Swathi Prabhu, M.A. (swathip@vt.edu) or David Andrews, M.P.H. (davida12@vt.edu)