Peer Support Centre: We're here to listen.
Volunteer Applications have officially opened for the 2023/2024 academic year!
Apply to volunteer with the PSC here!
Supportive Listening Volunteer: This position is meant for students who are looking to help clients in a one-on-one and in-person setting. Our volunteers support students in distress or whom are seeking resources for approximately 60 minute sessions. Volunteers are given extensive training in crisis management and active listening to supporting several mental health concerns. Trained staff members supervise volunteers in each session and provide ongoing emotional support if needed. Our volunteers also enter a community of empathetic students that have a passion for mental health advocacy. Several professional development sessions are offered each semester to add to volunteer's personal and professional goals. Previous professional development sessions have included; Trauma-Informed Care, Indigenous Youth Suicide Prevention Training, Responding to Disclosures of Sexual Assault, and Community Helpers among others. PSC Alumni have obtained successful careers in Social Work, Law, Occupational Therapy, and Clinical/Counselling Psychology.
- 3-4 hours/week of shift room time in our PSC office (this is self-scheduled)
- 4 hours/month of team time, including mandatory monthly meetings, planning events, etc.
- 2 role-plays per semester to keep skills up to par.
- TOTAL: Approximately 4 Hours/week or 16 hours/month
Our volunteers are asked to join one of the three following teams:
- Outreach Team: This group is responsible for increasing awareness of the PSC on campus, collaborating with other student groups, and helping do presentations for classes about the services of the centre.
- Social Planning Team: This is an internal team, which aims to promote inter-volunteer familiarity and well-being by providing self-care opportunities and social events for volunteers.
- Training Team: This team organizes and coordinates Ongoing Role-Plays, as well as Personal Development Sessions for volunteers to improve their skills throughout the year.
Senior volunteers (have volunteered for at least 1 year) have the opportunity to be more involved in our centre via several leadership roles.
- Leadership Volunteer: Leadership volunteers oversee and lead one of three internal volunteer committees. This role offers extensive opportunities to build project management, conflict resolution, and facilitation skills. These volunteers play an essential role in the operations of our centre. A major responsibility of this role is to ensure team goals are being met, and provide leadership/supervision to 10-15 volunteers in their respective teams.
- Role-play Facilitator: Role-play facilitators oversee the facilitation of our ongoing role-plays to support the skill development of volunteers. This role is tasked with leading role-play sessions, scoring, and delivering feedback to volunteers following their role-play. These volunteers also play a significant role in supporting the facilitation of role-plays during our Supportive Listening Training for new volunteers.
Volunteer Application Information:
What does our volunteer application process look like? The first step is completing our volunteer application form which asks administrative and scenario questions relative to the issues you are likely to encounter in the PSC. If your initial application is successful, you will be invited to an in-person interview with one of our staff. We aim to contact successful applicants for interviews by the end of May 2023.
Access our Volunteer Application here!
Note: Volunteer applications are only open to current University of Alberta students. All accepted applicants will complete our extensive Supportive Listening Training.
2023/2024 PSC Supportive Listening Volunteer Training Dates:
All trainings will be held in-person in the Students' Union Building (SUB)
- Saturday, August 19th from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (Students' Union Building)
- Saturday, August 26th from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (Students' Union Building)
- Sunday, August 27th from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (Students' Union Building)
- Saturday, September 9th from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (Students' Union Building)
- Sunday, September 10th from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (Students' Union Building)
Our in-person training dates are mandatory. If there is a situation that would prevent you from attending, please notify us at firstname.lastname@example.org prior to the submission of your application. If you are accepted as a volunteer and your ability to attend a date changes, we ask that you reach out as far in advance as possible in order for us to see if any accommodations can be made.
Volunteer Training Information:
PSC Volunteer training is composed of two parts; an asynchronous component and several in-person training sessions. If your application is successful, access to our training eclass will be provided to you by early July. Although this asynchronous portion of training is largely self-paced, it will include several mandatory discussion questions to engage your learning at specific checkpoints in the content material. Assessments to test your learning will include short-answer reflections and/or peer roleplays. All modules/portions of the asynchronous training must be completed before attending all in-person training sessions.
Our training involves education and skill training using a Supportive Listening Model for interpersonal interventions, suicide and crisis intervention techniques, grief coping mechanisms. Other skills include socratic questioning, perception checks and voice matching, along with many more!
It's important to know that training is a big commitment, both in terms of time and emotional energy. Please ensure you have capacity to undertake this training and are in a healthy mental space to support someone else.
The selection process for becoming a Peer Support Centre volunteer has several steps. This is to ensure that our volunteers are the right fit for the service and that the service is the right fit for you!
Application Form: Completing our volunteer application form is the first step in our selection process. The form begins by asking you several administrative questions to get to know you better. The later half of the form will include short answer and scenario questions to gauge your capacity to support someone in distress. The form will ask that you provide two professional references, make sure to have their contact information ready before starting.
There are no right or wrong answers to these questions. What we're looking for is to see if our values match with yours! Please be as honest as possible. All of the information you share in this application will remain confidential with PSC staff and is only used for the purpose of determining your suitability for this role.
The volunteer application form may take up to 30 minutes to complete. Should you wish to exit the form before submitting, your responses are autosaved in your browser for up to 15 days. If you have any questions about your application, please contact us by emailing email@example.com
Applications will close on Friday, May 12th at 11:59pm.
Successful applicants will be invited to an individual interview by the end of May 2023.
Apply to the Supportive Listening volunteer role here!
Only selected applicants will be asked to arrange an in-person individual interview with a PSC staff member. This one on one interview will last approximately 45 minutes and will include administrative and scenario questions of common situations you would encounter as a PSC volunteer.
We will begin to review volunteer applications following the application deadline (May 12th 2023). If you have any questions regarding the application process at any time, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Volunteering at the PSC has been an amazing experience, getting to work with such a great team of individuals while learning about yourself and others is something that my university education would not be the same without”
“Life changing: I do conversations a different way and view people differently.”
"The opportunity to not only personally grow, but help support my university community has been one of the most rewarding experiences and more than I could have ever asked for from a volunteer position!"
"Probably some of the best volunteering I've ever done, not only because you can really see the impact you have, but also it has changed the way I talk to people outside the PSC."
"A great way to become engaged on campus while feeling like you're making a difference and making friends in the process!"
Please note, that the Peer Support Centre is closed for the summer. If in need of supportive listening, please call the Edmonton Distress Line at 780-482-4357.
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
9AM - 5PM
Tuesday & Thursday
9AM - 7PM
Peer Support Centre
Students' Union Building
University of Alberta
8900 - 114 Street NW