Helping friends: a peer support program for senior secondary schools

Dillon, John, and Swinbourne, Anne (2007) Helping friends: a peer support program for senior secondary schools. Australian e-Journal for the Advancement of Mental Health, 6 (1). pp. 1-7.

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Abstract

Peer support is used frequently in addressing the health of young people. Helping Friends builds on the existing peer helping networks in schools to improve the availability, accessibility and appropriateness of social and personal support. It increases young people's knowledge of and access to referral options (in and out of school) and assists in the development of a safe and supportive school environment. Twenty-two schools in North Queensland, Australia participated in the program with many participating on several occasions. An evaluation of the Helping Friends program using the Social Provision Scale (Cutrona & Russell, 1987) was undertaken to determine whether there was an increase in perceived social support as hypothesised. Results revealed small yet significant increases along subscales of the Social Provision Scale. Pre and post measures of helping skills and knowledge of helping topics also revealed a significant increase following students' participation in training workshops. The results are discussed in terms of the efficacy of peer support programs for addressing the health needs of young people. The findings can be used to guide secondary schools in making decisions on the value of peer support programs and their application in school and out of school settings.

Item ID: 2233
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1446-7984
Keywords: mental health; schools; peer support; program evaluation; social support; connectedness; school mental health program; help seeking
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Reproduced with permission from Australian e-Journal for the Advancement of Mental Health.

Dillon, J. & Swinbourne, A. (2007). Helping Friends: a peer support program for senior secondary schools. Australian e-Journal for the Advancement of Mental Health, 6(1), www.auseinet.com/journal/vol6iss1/dillon.pdf

Date Deposited: 27 May 2009 23:58
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111714 Mental Health @ 50%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology @ 40%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170113 Social and Community Psychology @ 10%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920413 Social Structure and Health @ 25%
92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920205 Health Education and Promotion @ 25%
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