McMaster Peer-to-Peer Student Wellness Line

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Student mental health and wellness is at a crisis point. With 1 in 5 students experiencing a mental illness or concern each year and rates of anxiety, school related stress, and depression remaining high, something needs to be done to better support students and their wellness. 

That is why I am proposing the implementation of a Peer-to-Peer Student Wellness Line at McMaster University following a similar implementation at McGill University by the student body. This page is dedicated to providing an overview of how such a line would work as well as seeking your input on if such a service at McMaster would be supported by the student body and how students would like to see such a service if implemented.

A final recommendation report is being completed, with notice being given to the McMaster Students Union (MSU) VP, Education about its creation and upcoming submission, taking into account the input from meetings and the input form below, and will be submitted to the McMaster Students Union (MSU) VP, Education and VP, Administration in June of 2024 providing a glance look at student support for such a number and if it should be looked into more by the MSU.

Learn more about how such a line would work by scrolling below.


Take 5-10 minutes to provide your input into if you would support such a line at McMaster and what you would expect from it. All answers submitted in this form are anonymous in all aspects unless you indicate your name and/or email.

How Would This Work and FAQ

Overview of Proposal

Following the successful implementation of a student-run peer-to-peer student wellness line at McGill University in Montreal, QC, this recommendation report that is being submitted to the McMaster Student Union (MSU) Vice-President, Education and VP, Administration will seek to have a similar student-run wellness line/nightline at McMaster University. 


How Would it be Used?

Such a helpline will provide an alternate route for students to connect for more minor and non-professional wellness or stress-related issues (ex. exam stress, loneliness, anxiety, or just someone to talk to when they feel a bit down or like they need to get something off their mind). Through providing another avenue for students to connect with each other, you are providing a more comfortable and relatable space for students to connect and support each other with issues that they understand. While this is only one aspect of how this line could be used, such a line should accept a range of calls from student-to-student weather it be questions, seeking support, or more minor things.


What if there is a crisis call?

Such a service will not offer immediate crisis services such as 988 or Kids Help Phone. Connections that are received in this way will be immediately redirected towards 988 or the appropriate wellness support. People connecting with such a service at McMaster will be made aware of this when they first join or make that connect with the service if it is implemented.


Who would provide the support for such a service?

The purpose of such a line at McMaster would be to allow for students to connect with their peers to discuss issues that they may have on their mind that could be related to more by other students. It provides another avenue for students to connect with each other through providing a more comfortable and relatable space for students to connect and support each other with issues that they understand. Due to this, the service would be run by students-for-students with precautions put in place for people providing support (ex. pre-start screening), connections, and services provided through the line.


What's with the name of the line?

While for ease of typeability here it is referred to as a "Student Wellness Line" to convey how it will support students or a "Student Helpline", such a line can and should be used for anything peer-to-peer related at McMaster. Providing services for not only feelings and an outpost for students to seek support, but also a comfortable place that students feel that they can reach out to another student and have a question answered. The name of such a line at McMaster has yet to be decided and a final recommendation will be made within the submitted report.


Has the MSU been consulted or made aware of this?

Previous conversations dating back to December of 2023 and February of 2024 were held where such a service at McMaster was one of many mental health and student well-being topic of discussion. The MSU VP Education has been made aware of the incomings of such a recommendation report and indicated that it will be looked at and reviewed for further debate and conversation. The report will be submitted to both the VP, Education and the VP, Administration. 

Project and Recommendation Report Timeline

Mid March - 26 April 2024

Meetings and input period from:

  • Input from student clubs 
  • Internal and External student life/association groups
  • Input from Public Input Form (directed towards students at McMaster)

27 April 2024 - End of May 2024

Recommendation Report for a Peer-to-Peer Student Helpline creation, drafting, and editing

End of May

Submission of Recommendation Report for a Peer-to-Peer Student Helpline at McMaster to the MSU

The views expressed on this website and any social media account (@joshuamjbell) are those solely of Joshua Bell. The information on this website should not be taken as medical advice. If you are in a mental health crisis or need help, reach out and make that connection

I acknowledge that I, in Hamilton and everywhere in Canada, am located on the traditional territories of many Indigenous Communities and that we all have a responsibility to learn more about the rich history and culture of Indigenous Communities and their People as we work toward full reconciliation.

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