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'Help a Friend,' UA campus health shares tips for peer-to-peer support

Posted at 6:33 AM, Oct 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-13 09:33:27-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Many students experience stress at some point in college, whether it’s academic or something personal - and the pandemic hasn’t helped. University of Arizona’s Campus Health tells KGUN9, these are often times when students turn to friends for support.

“The pandemic has only highlighted the fact that we all sort of have problems in our life and it's sort of suddenly universal and we can all sort of relate to the fact that we're not doing well. What does it mean when we don't say something and when we don't ask, and what we'd like for someone to do for us?” said Aaron Barnes, the Counseling and Psych services (CAPS) assistant director.

Barnes said, sometimes hearing advice from a peer can have it click faster.

“I think we're just able to hear from our peers a little bit more because we trust them, and we know they understand what we're going through because they have similar kinds of experiences,” said Barnes.

CAPS offers a full range of services to UA students, and one of those is a consult service for friends or loved ones to call asking how they should approach someone they’re concerned about.

“I will have a conversation, and even maybe even a role play, how to have that tough conversation with them and share with them directly what the resources are and how to access our services. So, it makes it so much easier if we feel like we've talked to a professional that, how do I do this,” said Barnes.

Barnes said just because the majority of the campus is closed down, doesn’t mean campus health is. It’s remained open this entire time, ready to help those in need.