Services

  • Tutor Referral

    Our tutor referral service allows students to receive academic tutoring at a reduced cost, and also gives students a chance to earn some extra money by becoming tutors themselves.

    Please note that the Centre does not directly employ tutors, we are simply a referral service.

    Need a tutor?

    If you need a tutor, you can come by the Centre located in the UCU Terminus, room 211D, right next to 1848. You will be given a list of tutors along with their email addresses for you to contact and screen at your own leisure.

    Please note that rates and scheduling are to be negotiated between yourself and the tutor, and the Centre is not involved in these activities; however, we do enforce a maximum price cap. Graduate students cannot charge more than $25/hr, while all other tutors cannot charge more than $15/hr.

    Want to be a tutor?

    WE ARE ALWAYS RECRUITING STUDENTS FOR OUR TUTOR DATABASE! Our tutors must be registered undergraduate or graduate University of Ottawa students at time of registration, and have a B+ or higher in the course(s) they want to tutor. If a student has credits transferred from another school, the course equivalent must be found in order to register for that course.

    To become a tutor, simply stop by the office to fill out an application form. In order to have your grades verified, you can either bring a copy of your transcript or sign into InfoWeb from the office computer.

    Please note that tutors CANNOT register online or via email. The applications must be done in person.

    Important Policies:

    • Professors may not register as tutors, and teaching assistants (TAs) may not tutor the class(es) they are currently a TA for.
    • Graduate students cannot charge more than $25 per hour, while all other tutors cannot charge more than $15 per hour.
    • The Peer Help Centre is a referral service and does not take part in any money transaction. Students are to pay the tutor directly. No exceptions will be made to this rule.
    • Tutors are not permitted to write papers, complete assignments, or do any research for students. This is plagiarism and will result in immediate removal from the database.
    • It is the tutor’s responsibility to notify the Peer Help Centre of any changes to his/her contact information, availability, and the courses that he/she tutors.
  • Active Listening

    Students who are struggling with personal problems and who are looking for an empathetic and helpful listener are encouraged to stop by the Centre. Our active listening sessions, which are completely confidential, offer students the chance to discuss their difficulties in a supportive and encouraging environment that focuses on validating their thoughts and feelings and helping them take control and explore possible options when faced with a crisis.

    Active listening consultations have been a key service of the Peer Help Centre since 1995. This service is not designed to take the place of professional counseling, but simply offers students the opportunity to address their problems with an empathetic peer. The Peer Help Centre’s confidentiality policy is available online in the services section of our web site. Our volunteers receive active listening certification from the Distress Centre of Ottawa and Region and are also trained in crisis intervention, limits and boundaries, and suicide awareness.

    Active listening sessions can occur on a drop-in or appointment basis during the Centre’s hours of operation, 10:00 AM to 4:00pm from Monday to Friday during Spring/Summer.

  • Peer Support Phone Line

    613-562-5604

    The Peer Support Phone Line is closed for a July Break.

    Hours of Operation: Monday to Friday, 7pm – 11pm during Spring/Summer, 7pm-1am Fall/Winter

    *available during the Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer semesters

    The phone line is an extension of the Centre’s daytime personal support services, and allows students to access support outside of regular work hours. The benefit of a phone line is that it allows students to maintain a physical distance from the volunteer they are confiding in, which may be more comfortable for some students. Additionally, a phone line allows students to maintain complete anonymity if they so desire.

    The Peer Support Phone Line provides help and information to students facing everything from homesickness and academic stress to a wide variety of personal circumstances such as abuse, sexual identity confusion, family dynamics, and crisis situations. Referrals to other relevant services also will be made if so desired. The Peer Help Centre’s confidentiality policy is available online in the services section of our web site. The phone line is staffed by certified volunteers with extensive training from the Distress Centre of Ottawa and Region in active listening, call management, crisis intervention, suicide intervention, and limits and boundaries.

  • Peer Support Chat

    Students who are struggling with personal problems and who are looking for an empathetic and helpful listener are encouraged to chat online. Our active listening chats, which are completely confidential, offer students the chance to discuss their difficulties in a supportive and encouraging discussion that focuses on validating their thoughts and feelings and helping them take control and explore possible options when faced with a crisis.

    Active listening consultations have been a key service of the Peer Help Centre since 1995. This service is not designed to take the place of professional counseling, but simply offers students the opportunity to address their problems with an empathetic peer. The Peer Help Centre’s confidentiality policy is available online in the services section of our web site. Our volunteers receive active listening certification from the Distress Centre of Ottawa and Region and are also trained in crisis intervention, limits and boundaries, and suicide awareness.

    The Peer Support Chat active listening is available September to April from 7:00 pm to 1:00 am from Monday to Friday.

    The Peer Help Centre’s confidentiality policy is available online in the services section of our web site.

  • Essay Correction

    We offer a peer editing service where students can have their papers and reports reviewed for spelling and grammar by one of our volunteers. We can edit essays up to 15 pages (double-spaced) in length in either English or in French. The service is offered free of charge, although there are some restrictions. The Centre does not edit take-home exams, perform any other exam preparation, or correct the argument or flow of a paper. Students are also limited to one appointment per week and we will only edit a paper once. Appointments will run no longer than 1.5 hours, and must be made in advance. We do not under any circumstances edit papers on a drop-in basis.

      • Volunteers DO NOT
        • Correct take-home exams
        • Correct or evaluate the thesis or argument of a paper, the flow of a paper, or add to any paper
        • Under any circumstances, participate in any activity which may be considered Plagiarism. Further information can be obtained from the University of Ottawa website – LINK
      • Students CANNOT
        • Have any more than 15 pages DOUBLE SPACED corrected
        • Take more than the allotted 1.5 hour time slot
        • Book more than one appointment per week.
        • Have the same paper edited more than once
  • Presentation Critique

    We offer a presentation critique service where students can practice their presentation in front of one of our trained volunteers and get feedback from an impartial observer on their performance. This service is offered free of charge though there are some restrictions: Appointments will run no longer than 1.5 hours, and must be made in advance. We do not under any circumstances offer presentation critiques on a drop-in basis.

  • Mentoring for Youth

    Through Mentoring for Youth, the Peer Help Centre works with secondary schools to enrich the lives of high school and university students by providing them with a rewarding and beneficial mentoring experience.

    By extending our services to the secondary school community, Peer Mentors provide adolescents with academic, social, and emotional support. Placed in a compatible relationship with a young person, a Peer Mentor offers tutoring, friendship, and active listening while serving as a role model in times of personal growth.

    Today’s youth face multiple obstacles that affect their self-esteem, inhibit their ability to perform academically, and alter their worldview. Some of these obstacles include insufficient social support, community and domestic violence, and peer pressure. One of the most effective ways to establish supportive relationships that provide adolescents with the care and encouragement needed to surmount these obstacles is through school-based mentoring. The relationships formed through mentoring also help build the foundations for healthy, sustainable adult-youth relationships in the future.

    Program Goals:

    • To provide secondary school students with an experienced university student role model who can “show them the ropes” in a variety of situations.
    • To improve school performance, attendance and attitudes.
    • To promote positive social attitudes and relationships.
    • To provide a skill building and educational training opportunity.

    Volunteer to be a Peer Mentor! (link to Peer Mentor volunteer page)

    What will I gain from this volunteer experience?

    As a Peer Mentor, you will have the opportunity to be a role model for a high school student. You will receive training in youth education, active listening, and conflict resolution in order to help successfully mentor an adolescent. Above all, you will experience a mutually rewarding friendship based on respect, support, and understanding.

    <!– Partnered Schools

    Rideau High School
    Gloucester High School
    Heritage Academy –>

  • Resource Centre & Library

    One of the major responsibilities of the Peer Help Centre is to act as an information and referral agent on campus.

    Our volunteers would be happy to supply you with information on a wide variety of issues, including academics, student services, and physical and mental health. Students are welcomed to visit the Centre with their questions or to obtain copies of this information.

    Lending Library

    One of our newest additions to the Centre is the lending library! We have various books related to academic skills, communication, and mental and physical health that students are able to check out for a 3 week period. Our library is also searchable through the university library catalogue.

  • Confidentiality Policy

    1.0 Confidentiality

    • Location of the Peer Support Phone Line (PSPL) room is NEVER to be disclosed.
    • All information about calls, caller identity, volunteer identity, and any other information regarding the service remains confidential and within the phone line staff.  No information, regardless of its nature, shall be shared with the public, with the exception of Protection Services in emergency situations.
    • Confidentiality protects the identity of the callers as well as the integrity of the phone line.  Talking about callers outside of the Centre shall be prohibited.
    • Peer Listeners act as confidants to callers.  They shall never break this bond of trust except for in situations of suicide, physical harm to another person, or crime.
    • Calls are discussed ONLY during debrief with another listener or supervisor. If the peer listener knows the caller outside of the PSPL then they will be responsible for disclosing their relationship, assure the caller they will not disclose that they called outside of the PSPL, and give the caller the option of continuing the conversation or providing them with other support resources or ending the call.
    • Breach of confidentiality is a liability to the service. Shall a Peer Listener breach confidentiality he/she/they will be immediately dismissed from their responsibilities and the Peer Help Centre.

    1.1 Limits to Confidentiality

    In situations where the physical well being or safety of an individual is at-risk, confidentiality shall be breached. Please see Section 3 on Crisis Situations for more detail.

    Peer Helpers are not counselors. They may only suggest options and many never give advice, talk about personal experiences or give their own opinions. Actions of this type will not be tolerated in the Centre or through its services.

    Peer Help focuses on a predominantly reactive form of support rather than a proactive process. Those seeking help are invited to make contact with a peer helper in the first instance; however, the Peer Help Centre is predominantly a referral centre. While we always offer immediate crisis counseling, it is not a long term solution. Therefore, appropriate on and off campus resources are available to refer a student once they participate in an active listening session.

    Confidentiality is a key element of effective Peer Help and students need to know that they can trust Peer Helpers to keep their concerns confidential within Peer Help. Students also need to know that confidentiality will be broken in certain serious circumstances, which include:

    • If someone has or is attempting suicide*
    • If there is evidence of serious self harm
    • If others are at risk*
    • If there is a report of child abuse*
    • If the speaker becomes agitated, threatening or violent*

     

    2.0 Aggressive or Abusive Situations (as explained by the Ottawa Distress Centre)

    2.1 Staying within the guidelines

    A volunteer is not expected, under any circumstance, to deal with abusive or aggressive behaviour either during an active listening session, or over the phone. This type of behaviour is not acceptable. Any incident should be reported to a staff member and the Service Coordinator. Once a staff has been informed, Protection Services must be notified immediately and an incident form filled out.

    Abusive or offensive behavior that makes a volunteer feel uncomfortable shall not be tolerated under any circumstances. The physical safety and comfort of all volunteers and staff shall be taken into consideration at all times.

    Should a volunteer be confronted with sexually abusive behavior, the same steps are to be taken.

     

    3.0 Crisis Situations

    3.1 Definition of a crisis situation

    The Peer Help Centre and the Peer Support Phone Line defines a crisis situation where the caller is expressing a deep sense of depression that indicates suicide, is contemplating suicide, is intending to harm him/herself or another individual, is in complete shock/trauma, or is uttering threats (directed to either volunteer or third party) either during an active listening session or over the phone line.

    All crisis situations shall be dealt with as an emergency situation. Peer Helpers and Peer Listeners shall respond according to the training that they received and the guiding principles and procedures. In situations where the physical well being or safety of an individual is at-risk, confidentiality shall be breached.

    3.2 What to do in an Emergency Situation

    In an emergency situation, volunteers shall inform his/her respective Supervisor or the Service Coordinator immediately and shall inform the student of his/her actions and that confidentiality will be breached. The student must be notified about the steps that are being taken and assure them that the actions being taken are according to the Peer Help Centre’s procedures. If the emergency involves the authorities; the volunteer or Supervisor shall contact Protection Services before going to the Ottawa Police.

    3.3 Suicide

    In a lethal situation (as assessed by the volunteer based on common sense, concern, knowledge and skills received from training), volunteers are required by law to react to the situation. Volunteers shall inform the student of his/her actions and that confidentiality will be breached.

    3.4 Sexual Assault

    Sexual assault is an illegal act that involves informing the authorities. The volunteer does not have the right to report the incident or tell the caller to do so. Taking legal action is left entirely in the hands of the caller.  In this situation, a volunteer shall hear the caller out and help him/her explore his/her options.