You don't need a degree to help your friends. You just need Peer Responders.
Peers are often the first and only line of defense for each other; therefore they need to be trained in how to defend.
A Step-by-Step Guide
to Help Friends in Crisis
Peer Responders, a Psychology Today-reviewed course, looks to teenagers as a viable solution for teenage-related problems.View Psychology Today Article
your friend who needs your help by identifying and interpreting common signs
and communicating with your friend through tactical empathy by asking the right questions
your friend overcome struggles and find a better path
with your friend and being an advocate across the bumpy road
the stories of survivors of suicide, depression, and mental health illnesses
Emotional First Aid
You are the first person there.
Peer Responders is an online mentoring and certification program for teens that trains students through mentorships with mental health professionals on how to respond to peer crises—in and out of school. We are starting a movement of kind and informed training for student leaders across the country. In the fight against depression, Peer Responders is the first mental health organization to use friendship as a power tool.
Don't know where to start?
Learn about our popular modules.
FUNDAMENTALS AND PHILOSOPHY
Congratulations! You have taken the first step in helping your loved ones by selecting this course. We will touch upon the ideas of moral obligation, virtue, and philia as presented by Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates.
NOTICING SHIFTS IN BEHAVIOR
What happens if your friend doesn't approach you first or you notice an individual in distress? Learn how to observe and react when noticing something "off" in friends' behavior.
COMMUNICATING WITH TACTICAL EMPATHY
Learn to create a safe environment where personal boundaries are respected and friends feel no pressure in revealing sensitive information. Communicate openly, ask the right questions, and build trust.
Learn about the science of behavior and how to overcome the obstacles that you will face in helping your friend towards a healthier path. How can you approach the appropriate adult about your friend's problem without betraying trust?
CHECKING IN CONSISTENTLY
You have helped your friend! That's amazing! But as with any good thing, sticking with it makes the difference. Stay connected with that friend to ensure the steps of your training continue to bolster your friend's mental health.
Here's a bonus for your training! Listen to the stories of suicide survivors and what they had wished people around them would've said or done to help. What would you have done as a friend in these same situations?
Why does this matter?
High-achieving high school students are among the most stressed members of the community. About 20 percent of all teens experience depression before they reach adulthood. Every 100 minutes a teen commits suicide, making suicide the second leading cause of death for 15-24 year olds. According to the WHO, half of all mental health conditions start by 14 years of age but most cases go undetected and untreated. Yet, no one intervenes because young people are not trained on how to conciliate.
Through Peer Responders, instead of freezing up when someone confides in a friend for help—hesitant of what to say, how to act, and who to recommend as a safe source of counsel—the friend can respond to the problem in a healthy and constructive manner, thanks to the tools that friend learned from us.
What Teens Had to Say About Us...
C.R. ~ Louisville, Kentucky
"What Peer Responders teaches us about what to do and look for at times of crises can help save lives when people like me don't know how to take the next steps."
J.P. ~ Houston, TX
"The Peer Responders lessons are so fascinating, inspirational, and timely. I can't wait for the next one!"
R.D. ~ Boise, Idaho
"I finally know how to talk to my best friend when she brings up thoughts of suicide. Peer Responders gave me the courage."
“It isn’t that you didn’t reach for them. It’s that your hand got lost in the darkness.”
~ Priya Patel, Founder and Director of Peer Responders
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Free New Course For Teenagers Whose Friends Are Self-Harming
Like Al‑Anon for people with addicts in their lives, this is for the friends.
Written by Dr. Ben Hardy
"It's a free resource with expert-driven content to provide teens with the knowledge and tools to better support their struggling friends..."