Monday, May 11, 2015

May Awareness Campaigns for Peer Helping Programs

The month of May is a busy time for students with prom, graduation, and end of the year activities!  Although we may be distracted with these activities, the work of the peer helper is so important this time of year!! Peer helpers are instrumental in providing information, resources, education, and support before students attend these events.

Before school ends for the summer, think about wrapping up the year with some important awareness campaigns:

Mental Health Awareness

With finals, AP Testing, and college entrance exams, anxiety can be a problem for students.  Peer helpers can share the signs and symptoms of anxiety and how to cope during this stressful time of year.  Some tools include:

Anxiety Screening
10 Tools to Deal With Stress
Mental Health Toolkit

Global Traffic Awareness Month

With prom and graduation parties approaching, NOYS emphasizes the importance of teen traffic safety.  This campaign focuses on traffic related crashes which of the leading cause of death among teens in the US.

Join NOYS on Twitter to find out more information on how to protect teens in your community.

May 13th @ 8 PM - Seat Belt Safety
May 20th @ 8 PM - Driving Distractions
May 27th @ 8 PM - Sharing the Road

Add this to your calendar for your peer helpers to get involved in traffic safety.  

Teen Safe Driving Summit
October 19, 2015
Alexandria, Virginia

Peer Mentor Application for Safe Driving Summit

Teen Pregnancy Awareness

The month of May is Teen Pregnancy Awareness for teens.  Peer helpers can serve as peer educators and distribute resources through various methods.  Check out the Office of Adolescent Health's Resources for a plethora of ideas, webinars, podcasts, and much more!!

Office of Office of Adolescent Health Teen Pregnancy Resources

Thursday, April 9, 2015

What is Peer Helping?

Welcome to the National Peer Helping Blog and our first official post!!  In this blog, we will include best practices, outstanding programs, free training and resources, featured peer helping training, peer helping awareness campaigns, and national organizations that are peer helper friendly.  

In our first official post, we would like to define peer helping and how and it is supported by the American School Counselor Association. According to the American School Counselor Association, peer helping programs can be extremely beneficial to school and include a variety of interpersonal behaviors by trained students who seek to assist their peers.
ASCA Position Statement on Peer Helping

There are many uses for peer helpers in schools. This is not an exhaustive list, but an excellent guide to include students in helping roles in your school. Some activities for students include:

Peer listeners
Peer tutors
Peer mentors
Peer mediators
Student/office aids
Peer advisors
Group leaders
Peer educators
Peer ambassadors
Orientation and transition guides
Serving in outreach such as reducing crisis, alerting the school counselor to suicidal students and identifying students who are potential victims to violence.

How does one go about creating a peer helping program?  This checklist will help you get pointed in the right direction:

1.  Conduct an assessment to find out the specific needs of your school community.

2.  Establish a vision and mission statement of your program to define the focus of your program.

3.  Get trained!!  All peer helper coordinators should have adequate training in establishing, coordinating, and evaluating a program.

4.  Provide initial and advanced training to peer helpers.

5.  Have a set of ethics and standards for your helpers. There is a set of ethics for all peer helpers established by the National Association of Peer Program Professionals.

6.  Evaluate your program to make needed adjustments.

7. Continue to expand your program by expanding the role of your peer helpers.

Also, before starting a program, all peer helping educations should follow a specific ethical standard. The following ethical standards are from the National Association for Peer Program Professionals.


Professionals who are responsible for implementing peer helper programs shall be people of personal and professional integrity. As a minimum, the NAPPP believes the Code of Ethical Standards for Peer Helping Professionals shall contain the following and be evidenced by commitment to and pursuit of:

1. A philosophy which upholds peer helping as an effective way to address the needs and conditions of people.

2. The individuals right to dignity, self  development, and self direction.

3. Excellence in program development and implementation through:

  • Strong positive rapport with peer helpers.
  • Appropriate background, training, and skills.
  • Personal commitment and energy.
  • The use of professionals with expertise and experience in human relations training.
  • The use of proven curriculum for training, supervision, and supporting peer helpers.
4. The developing of a nurturing personality which:

•Reflects a positive role model and healthy lifestyle.
•Rejects the pursuit of personal power or gain at the expense of others.
•Respects copyright and acknowledgement obligations as they pertain to peer helping resources and ideas.
•Adheres to the ethical and legal obligations of confidentiality.
•Strives to exemplify the peer helping philosophy in all life situations

5. The promotion of a realistic understanding by both internal and external audiences of the benefits and limitations of a peer helping program.

If you are interested in starting a program, please contact the National Association of Peer Program Professionals for more information on finding a trainer in your area!


Welcome to the National Helper Blog!  This informative blog is sponsored by the National Association of Peer Program Professionals (NAPPP). The mission of NAPPP is to help adults establish, train, supervise, maintain and evaluate peer programs. Using the NAPPP Standards and Ethics as a guiding principle, NAPPP helps adults through networking, leadership training, certification, and programmatic problem solving. NAPPP is a national organization with recognized Standards and Ethics, effective programs, and an evaluation protocol.

If you have a peer helper program or looking to start your first program, please feel free to use and share our resources!  Peer helping is part of peer programs or supportive services initiated by peers in diverse settings. Often, peer helpers are young people, trained and supervised by professionals, who adhere to ethics and standards endorsed by helping professionals and NAPPP.

Peer helpers often become preventive agents who identify problems and encourage others to seek the necessary help from appropriate professionals. Peer helpers provide people with opportunities for learning, guidance, emotional support, and growth which translates to reduced drug and alcohol involvement, higher academic skills, reduced HIV/AIDS transmission, reduced unintended pregnancy, reduced conflict, increased understanding of differences, and increased service to others. By helping others, peer helpers often increase their own self-esteem and personal functioning.

Peer programs include people helping other people. When people experience frustration, worries, concerns, and other life events, they typically turn to their friends, not professionals for help, advice, practical assistance or support. The peer programs that NAPPP supports has various names such as peer helping, peer counseling or listening, peer ministry, peer education, peer leadership, peer health education, peer mediators, peer tutoring, and peer mentoring. Peers do not replace licensed or certified professionals or practitioners, but often serve as an extension of the services these professionals provide. Through much research and evaluation, peer programs have been found to be one of the most proven and effective prevention strategies.

Please stop by our blog anytime and feel free to website, face book, and twitter page !