GW opens applications for peer support hotline

GW launched the application process for its first peer support program, GW Listens, the University announced Monday.

The anonymous hotline will not open until next fall, according to the University release. The program will be run through the Student Association, and applications from undergraduate and graduate students will be accepted until Oct. 30.

Weekly training sessions, led by Mental Health Services Assistant Director of Training Amber Cargill, will begin next semester.

“This peer support program focuses on active listening, empathy, and problem solving techniques, which can assist a student who is looking to speak to someone who might have experience with something they are going through,” a release from the SA reads.

The on-campus call center’s location will be confidential and volunteers will be asked to keep their participation anonymous until “their final semester, [when] anonymous volunteers will be able to reveal their involvement and transition to a recruitment and advocacy role.”

Former SA President Nick Gumas and former Executive Vice President Avra Bossov advocated for an anonymous hotline for more than a year. University President Steven Knapp announced University approval of the program in January.

Officials have focused on increasing mental health resources in recent years, especially after three student suicides on campus about 18 months ago.

In May, the Board of Trustees approved a 3.4 percent tuition hike for the current freshmen class, a portion of which were funneled toward boosting on-campus mental health resources.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.