Peer Educator Program
Aggies Reaching Aggies is a peer educator initiative with the primary mission to raise awareness and prevent suicide at Texas A&M. Being on a team with other students, you will have the unique opportunity to be a part of something that really matters. We are interested in identifying students who want to make a difference and are willing to commit time each week to doing just that. The hope is for Aggies Reaching Aggies to spread messages of hope and educate fellow Aggies on lifesaving skills to directly help a peer who is struggling. Peer gatekeepers have a significant focus on creating meaningful connections and conversations among students. The Suicide Awareness & Prevention Office within Counseling & Psychological Services will oversee and supervise Aggies Reaching Aggies.
How to Get Involved
Aggies Reaching Aggies volunteers will lead the next decade of training of student gatekeepers here at Texas A&M. A gatekeeper is someone who can recognize when someone is struggling, and connect someone to resources who is at risk for suicide. With the addition of the peer lead training our hope is to reach more students in a meaningful way.
To become a Reach Volunteer, you must be a currently enrolled student (undergraduate or graduate) from any major. No prior experience is needed as an Aggies Reaching Aggies volunteer! Applications are accepted all year. Applicants will complete an interview and training prior to giving a gatekeeper training. We offer a training class in August. Interviews for our August class begin in April. Training takes place the week before the semester starts and is from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Once students complete the initial training to become a peer educator, volunteers can expect flexibility in scheduling around your availability. Students will also have ongoing supervision and continuing education throughout the program. Most gatekeeper trainings are two hours and will be offered at various times during the week with occasional evening and weekend presentations.
Applications are open!
Please complete the following for the application process:
- Aggies Reaching Aggies volunteer application form
- Provide a letter of recommendation of a person who can speak to your dependability and ability to be a student leader.
All materials should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more about Aggies Reaching Aggies
The volunteers will work with the Texas A&M Suicide Awareness & Prevention Office to promote and develop campus education about mental health and suicide prevention. Volunteers are trained to deliver QPR, a suicide prevention training that equips students to: recognize the warning signs, know what to say to someone who might be at risk for suicide, and where to refer individuals for help. Additionally, Volunteers are trained to facilitate Campus Connect, an interactive training providing participants opportunities to enhance their knowledge, awareness, and skills concerning college student suicide. This training focuses on increasing gatekeepers' knowledge about students in a suicidal crisis, developing empathic listening and communication skills, and how to compassionately and directly ask students about their suicidal thoughts. This training is specifically for college students. The volunteers will also participate in campus advocacy and outreach initiatives.
This may vary depending on each student's unique situation, but as a rule of thumb, we would ask you to commit approximately 3-5 hours per week. This time commitment will allow ample opportunity to be trained in the suicide prevention gatekeeper programs, gain experience as a student trainer, and participate in other events.
No! Volunteers include both undergraduate and graduate students from diverse backgrounds, career interests, and majors. We value having students who represent a broad range of interests.
We are certainly willing to work with you and your department to identify whether your time dedicated to this program can be used for academic credit or volunteer requirements.
You can support Aggies Reaching Aggies through Dec. 31, 2020, with an online donation at u.tamu.edu/Lifeline. Help us reach our goal of $7,000 to launch this program in the spring!