Schulich Peer Support Program

Important Note

SPSP is not a crisis service.

If you or someone you know is in need of assistance immediately, please call 911 or CMHA Reach Out (London, Middlesex, Oxford, Elgin) 24/7: 519-433-2023 or 1-866-933-2023

The Schulich Peer Support Program (SPSP) is a student-led, Learner Experience Office -supported initiative that pairs trained Schulich Undergraduate Medicine and Dentistry students with their peers for informal peer support.

SPSP Supporters consist of a group of 24 undergraduate Medicine and Dentistry students from second third and fourth year classes.

Supporters represent a wide variety of lived experience, including racial diversity, mental and physical health, academic challenges, grief, sexual orientation, among many others. And they have received comprehensive training by Learner Experience staff, including but not limited to: communication techniques, crisis/suicide management, harassment/mistreatment, and cultural humility.

Supporters are also familiar with university/community resources, and can facilitate referral to other support services and/or LEO professionals as required.

SPSP will always prioritize privacy and confidentiality, and all participants will be required to complete a confidentiality agreement.

If you have any questions about SPSP please contact Dr. Sandra Northcott, Associate Dean, Learner Experience or SPSP Leads.

Sign up to be "matched" with an SPSP Supporter


Sign up for "drop-in" Peer Support

Sign up to be an SPSP Supporter

Sign up for the role of Jr. Lead (Dentistry)

Who is SPSP?

The Schulich Peer Support Program (SPSP) is a student-led, Learner Experience Office - supported initiative that pairs trained Schulich Undergraduate Medicine and Dentistry students with their peers for informal peer support.


What can SPSP do for you?

SPSP offers two kinds of peer support to undergraduate Medicine and Dentistry students at Schulich:

  1. Matching to SPSP Supporter: For those in need of ongoing support or who wished to be paired to a Supporter with particular lived experience, you may apply to be “matched” through SPSP. After applying, our SPSP Student Leads will review your application and match you to a Supporter who best fits your preferences and goals. You will be connected with your matched Supporter within one week. You can sign-up and learn more at:
  2. Drop-In Support: For those who prefer more limited support, many of our Supporters also offer virtual and in-person sessions. These 1-hour sessions are first-come, first-serve. Students may ask to be “matched” with their drop-in Supporter after their session if they want to meet again in the future. You can sign-up and learn more at:

what can SPSP do for you


How is this different from seeing my counsellor?

  • SPSP provides informal peer support, and is not a replacement for professional counselling
  • The goal of peer support is to act as an intermediate step for individuals who need support outside of the “treatment” setting, as well as for those who feel they may not want/require professional counselling
  • Peer support can be a stepping stone to accessing professional counselling, an adjunct for those already receiving regular counselling, or a setting for any individual who wants support in achieving their goals

How is this different from UWODSS mentorship (Dents) or SST/Big Sib Little Sib (Meds)?

  • UWODSS mentorship pairs students based on academic year to promote learning and collaboration through sharing thoughts, experiences, and opinions. The program also fosters collegiality and connections between dentistry students and alumni. This program also hosts social events and seminars on professional and clinical skills.
  • SST is an entirely student-run group that organizes events, talks and other sessions for students to discuss health and wellbeing; it also runs initiatives such as:
    • SSTeas and exam cookies: supports students throughout the year;
    • Big Sib Little Sib program: pairs upper year students with first year students to provide guidance on navigating medical school.
  • By contrast, SPSP seeks to provide informal peer support, supported by Learner Experience, built around the shared lived experience unique to each supporter-participant relationship

How is this different from the Buddy Program offered through Learner Experience?

  • The Buddy Program provides daily social connection in small groups to facilitate connection to Schulich students outside of their regular social circle
  • By contrast, SPSP pairs students for weekly, informal sessions directed towards the goals of the participating student