This is the official site for MIT's Peer Ears, a residence-based mental health support network.
Who are we?
We are MIT students who support our communities through workshops, one-on-one "office hours", and other mental health-related events. We are campus-wide, but living-group focused. Our goals are:
- Provide a safe space to talk
- Bridge the gap between students and resources
- Educate students about mental health
If you need a Band-Aid, you can go to a Medlink. If you're stressed, you can go to a Peer Ear. We want to be the first line of support to help you and direct you.
We are non-mandated reporters and are mentored and trained by MIT Medical counselors.
We work with the house team to reach out to our living groups to let them know we care, we want to help, and we understand. With our direct perspective on the student experience, we also advise MIT Mental Health and Counseling on projects and outreach.
Frequently Asked Questions
What makes Peer Ears different from MIT’s other services?
We address the anxiety, stress, and other mental health pressures in day-to-day campus life. We believe that being a compassionate, informed member of your community can be easy. Our training teaches Peer Ears how to approach others, refer them to other services, and promote healthy habits. Peer Ears is the first program of its kind to interface with the residential safety net. We help GRTs check up on floormates, guaranteeing that a few people are always aware of the general well-being of their neighbors.
What kind of relationship do Peer Ears have with staff and clinicians?
Each Peer Ear is linked to the residential support system through the Division of Student Life, and receives training from MIT Mental Health and Counseling (MIT MH&C). In return, Peer Ears may do the following:
- Periodically debrief only with MIT MH&C to share their feelings and experiences, without making specific or named references to other students
- Offer, only as necessary to assess the program, non-identifying, aggregated information on trends in usage and overall student response.
- Beyond this, any conversations that a Peer Ear has with another student are confidential, unless the conversation indicates that someone would be harmed.
But there are already so many services out there! I barely even know where to start.
That’s a fair point, and we hope to fix that. We want Peer Ears to bridge the gap between “minor” and “major” problems, as well as guide you if you’re new to MIT or don’t know where to go. Just talk about what you need, and you might get advice for common situations, or be directed to staff or other professionals for larger ones.
How to Apply
Are you a good listener? Do you want to help those in your residential community? Then become a Peer Ear!
Like our Facebook Page to keep in touch and inquire about application deadlines.
As a Peer Ear, you'll be expected to play an active role in planning workshops, reaching out to your living group, and supporting your peers in the best way you feel appropriate.