More Feet on the Ground: Referring a peer to a resource
“More feet on the ground” is a short course (~45 minutes) designed to teach students how they can best support their peers using simple principles and real-life scenarios. We highly recommend taking the course, as it addresses nuanced support situations and allows you to apply the skills you’ve learned.
Content warning: The “More feet on the ground” course contains discussion of suicide, self-harm, etc. Register for the “More Feet on the Ground” course here or learn the basics in the table below.
|Recognize||Watch for distress indicators related to academics, physical appearance, behaviour, emotions, safety risk, and/or emergencies.
Take action if the student exhibits:
Trust your judgement.
|Respond||Creating a space for a positive conversation to happen includes:
How to start the conversation:
How to balance privacy and safety of yourself and the student:
|Refer||To be able to best support a peer, you will need to first learn about the resources available on your campus. Since you’re already on the SWC’s Resources page, you are in the right place!
How to explore options for support with a peer:
Once you’ve chosen the right resource together, ask them whether they would like your help in accessing it to make the process easier. Finally, thank your peer for sharing and keep the door open for further conversation with reasonable boundaries around when you’re available.
After your conversation, remember to take care of yourself and your own needs.
The 5 R’s: Steps in helping a student in distress or difficulty
This resource was originally created for McMaster staff as a guide for how to best support students. Its principles extend upon the 3 R’s if you need more guidance on how to recognize distress in your peers and address it. Access the full “5 R’s” tool here.
Framework: Each step in the 5 R’s is framed through the level of support a peer may require.
These support levels include:
- No additional support required
- Support required
- Urgent support required
- Emergency support required
|Step||Action||What you will learn|
|1||Recognize||Signs that your peer may need support based off emotional, behaviour, physical, and academic indicators.|
|2||Reach out||How to approach a peer after you recognize indicator(s) of distress.|
|3||Rate||How to rate the level of support a peer may require depending on certain criteria within your interaction.|
|4||Respond||How to support a peer most effectively depending on the level of support you think they require.|
|5||Review||What steps should be taken to ensure your peer received proper support.
This section is more catered to staff requirements after referral to health or emergency services.