P.E.E.R.S. program is temporarily discontinued until further notice. If you would like to talk to Spiritual Life staff one-on-one, please contact Maria Cartagena mcDO@hampshire.edu or Syma Sheikh, ssSLC@hampshire.edu.
P.E.E.R.S. (People who are Empowering Empathic Reliable Supports), formerly known as peer chaplains, hold space for open communication and radical acceptance, offering connection and affirmation to help students seek hope in challenging times, gain insight into issues and concerns, and explore different perspectives in order to find grounding. While we operate through Spiritual Life, we are not a religious or even a faith-based group, and our meetings with students are confidential.
We are Div I, Div II, and Div III students who care deeply about the well-being of other students, no matter who they are, what their backgrounds might be, or what they believe.
We come from a diverse range of spiritual backgrounds, including those of us with no identifiable spiritual background, and our interests span across the board, from music and dance to sustainability, politics, religion, and more!
We receive extensive training and engage in on-going training on subjects that include mental health, rape crisis, peer support, substance abuse, suicide prevention, eating disorders, clinical pastoral education, identity development, social justice, and spiritual care, with supervision through Spiritual Life.
Check out our bios to find out more about who we are and why we love doing this work!
As peer supporters, a big part of our role is simply to be present as witnesses and companions in a challenging time or moment. We work to provide a “confidential ministry of presence” for our peers by taking the time to “be there,” and practicing nonjudgmental active listening. This involves considering how someone’s beliefs or lack thereof may play into how that person is feeling, and helping to provide a window for the individual to look inward and reflect.
Our goals in working with students are to cultivate a mutual sense of well-being, to help reduce feelings of alienation, and to offer love and compassion to anyone in need.
Email email@example.com to schedule an appointment, or stop by one of our offices during drop-in hours Sunday through Thursday.