Peer Assisting for University Youth Project

We aim to make healthy peer interaction, increasing well-being, and raise awareness about the importance of peer relationships with the effect of peer assisting

The Project Team
Our team is formed of three final year undergraduate students from the Department of Psychological Counseling and Guidance of Ankara University (Kübra Salihoğlu, Mehmet Enes Çobanoğlu ve Rabia Göktaş), two students from the Department of Psychology of Ankara Social Sciences University (Nilsu Özaslan, Büşra Canan Çiçek). We, as a team, are conscious, young students playing an active role in NGOs (Non-governmental Organizations), pursuing the goal of helping people and aiming to improve ourselves in all areas. Ankara University, which is the institution under the umbrella of our Peer Assisting Project we have been carrying out by being aware of the importance of European Union project today, is a long-established state university founded in 1946 in Ankara, the capital of Turkey, leading such projects for many years. Moreover, we; in cooperation with our mentor Assoc. Prof. Dr. Gökhan Atik and our project coach Burak Demircan from the Office for European Union Education and Youth Programs, have been working determinedly in the light of psychological science and pursuing the goal of helping young people. Our team which is formed of university students aims at peer helping in subjects such as sexual health, effective communication, victimization, psychological first aid, mental well-being, transcultural tolerance by raising awareness about peer assisting to the volunteer young people who will participate within the scope of our project.

Our Activities
It’s an undeniable fact that individuals in their emerging adulthood share their personal, social and academic issues with their peers more particularly. At this point, supports, feedbacks and comments the individuals receive from their peers, friends are crucial during these periods when the personality develops and settles. Peer Assisting which involves seeking, evaluating solutions together and sharing experiences and is characterized as non-professional assisting emphasizes activation of natural helping relationship between the individual and his/her friends sharing similar lives. Hence, our goal is to provide peer assisting to our peers which they need and is crucial during their university education within the scope of our project and we want to improve our project accordingly. The primary objective of the “Peer Assisting” Project developed for this purpose is to enable and encourage the volunteer students who are educated in the subjects of assisting and major issues in the adolescence to help and support their peers who seek assistance. The young people who understand the importance of peer assisting and how to support in accorance with the project will have comprehended how to support their peers when they come up with various problems.
The project’s study group is chosen as university students. The main reason for this is the period of university is a period when the responsibilities, changes increase with young adulthood and it’s a crucial period on the way leading to adulthood. Nevertheless, university students might need psychological support since it’s a period when their personal responsibilities increase and new needs emerge. The peer assisting project aims at functionalizing the social support provided by the young people to their peers and transforming it into a psychological supporting mechanism. By this psychological supporting mechanism, the young people will have various information about different ways of coping with problems they might encounter in upcoming years. Since the information received such as sexual health education, effective communication (establishing empathy, body language and etc.), victimization (peer victimization, mobbing, dating victimization), psychological first aid, mental well-being, cultural tolerance are our subjects concerning the adults and they are applicable, this project will enable the young people to act easily and enhance psychological and social power.
When the role of friends is considered in the process of life long development, young adults – university students - with basic assisting capabilities being competent in supporting their peers in psychological, social, academic and professional issues will have positive results for both parties. The reason for keeping this psychological support to be provided especially at the level of friendship/peer rather than the professionals is that the individuals prefer to consult to their peers firstly when they have a problem. The aim of the trainings to be given within the scope of the project is to enable the participants to meet the help requests of their peers and support them.
Our learning contents are divided into five major titles however they refer to multiple issues due to the structure of issues. Our major subjects are Peer Assisting, Sexual Health, Victimization, Effective Communication, Psychological First Aid. Since the scope of our topics are wide, the subjects such as dating abuse, peer victimization, workplace victimization, mobbing, establishing empathy, effective communication and body language, psychological well-being, social acceptance, sensitivity to other cultures will be discussed as subtitles. The young people will establish better social relationships, contribute to their personal developments and reflect the positive effects of this change to the other areas in their lives due to planned trainings and activities.
Peer Assisting is a developmental and preventive factor based on the concept of friendship. Besides, the peer assistants who have been trained about ethical principles will realize that they should guide their peers to a psychological counselor or a psychologist when their peers want to talk about a problem and such situation requires a professional psychological support beyond their capabilities by observing the psychological needs of the participants. Although psychological support is not directly provided by peer assisting, it includes supporting factors to enhance psychological well-being of the participants. Hence, the peer assisting programs consisting of planning-application-continuity phases will provide huge advantages to the field of psychological counseling and guidance, peer assistant and peer client.
When we compare our project’s goals with the objectives of Erasmus, it directly includes the items of “Information & Constructive Dialogue”, “Mental Health & Well-being” and “Quality Learning” stated within the European Youth Goals.
Information & Constructive Dialogue: Owing to our Peer Assisting Project, we aim to enable criticism of information by easing the young people to access to reliable information and awareness raised with our content made of youth-friendly information. The peers who are producers and responsibles of information become self-aware against hate speech and discrimination by engaging in respecting, tolerant and non-victimizing constructive dialogues by transferring the opportunities we offer to the other peers in a series of chain.
Mental Health & Well-being: The participants who teach and learn from their peers by the secure medium provided by peer assisting and thus develop a less competitive mentality make a huge contribution to their self-awareness. By the learning content, the individuals develop both their self-help and effective communication capabilities and enhance their well-being by fighting against victimization and reinforcing preventive approach against mental health problems. Due to comprehensive approach and psychological first aid capabilities included in the learning content, the young people contribute to themselves, their peers and societies by developing their well-being capabilities.
Quality Learning: The young people will be able to develop their interpersonal and transcultural capabilities in accordance with the 21st century with the open-mindedness they‘ve gained owing to the peer-centered non-formal education based on cooperation created by transactional teaching methods such as creative drama, role playing we’ve adopted by peer assisting. Quality learning will be provided by teaching transferable daily life-oriented capabilities such as coping with victimization, effective communication and sexual health. The peers who become exclusive by quality learnings will be able use their capabilities effectively in their professional lives.

This project has been viewed 183 times.
We're looking for:
3 more partners
from Erasmus+: Youth in Action Programme countries
Deadline for this partner request:
2021-02-01

Contact person: Kübra Salihoğlu

E-mail:

General contact

Phone: +903123629720

E-mail: genclik@ankara.edu.tr

E-mail: mbdemircan@ankara.edu.tr

Project overview

Peer Assisting for University Youth Project is a project by
Ankara University EU Youth Programme Office
taking place
from 2021-10-01 till 2023-10-01
This project relates to:
Youth Exchanges
and is focusing on:
  • Anti-discrimination
  • Conflict management
  • Health
  • Integration
  • Intercultural dialogue
  • Non-formal learning
  • Volunteering
This project can include young people with fewer opportunities like
  • Social obstacles
  • Economic obstacles
  • Cultural differences
  • Geographical obstacles

Short URL to this project:

http://otlas-project.salto-youth.net/12959

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