Peer Awareness For Well-being & Support (P.A.W.S.)

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How to Participate

Students who are passionate about mental health and well-being awareness on campus are invited to nominate a peer or themselves to participate in the next cohort of the P.A.W.S. program. Faculty and staff are also encouraged to nominate students. There are a limited number of spots available, and those who are not accepted into the next cohort will be put on a waiting list for the following semester. Nominations are accepted year-round, but applications typically open during the 2nd half of each semester for the following semester's cohort.

Students who are nominated to take part in the P.A.W.S. training program will receive an email notification asking them to complete the application form and submit their availability for training sessions, which are held weekly for one hour over six weeks. Acceptance into the program is based on class year and schedule availability. Application responses are simply used to help guide support needed in the training implementation. Nominated students must have at least 1 year left in their academic program (both undergraduate and graduate) to join the P.A.W.S. training program.

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Program Structure

The six-week program includes weekly, one-hour long training sessions. P.A.W.S. students are asked to commit to attending the entire series of six training sessions. If a student misses a weekly session, the student will be asked to schedule a make-up session. Each session will have a content, discussion, and an activity portion. Once students have completed the six-week training program, they are considered members of the P.A.W.S. network for the remainder of their time at Michigan Tech without any further obligation to the program. However, students are welcome to get involved and participate in various mental health and well-being activities that occur on campus after their training! With only six weeks of training, students will learn valuable skills that are useful even after their years at Michigan Tech. Each week brings up a new topic for students to learn, comment on the mental health culture on campus, and discuss with other peers in their group. The days and times of future sessions are scheduled based on the group of students availability:

  • Week 1: What is Mental Health? Acceptance and Avoidance
  • Week 2: Core Supportive Skills
  • Week 3: Depression and Anxiety
  • Week 4: High-Risk Coping Strategies & Behaviors
  • Week 5: Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors
  • Week 6: Helping Others Get Help

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Core Elements of P.A.W.S.

  • Peer Connection - Networking with other students on campus will improve students’ access to key supports and enhance overall student well-being.

  • Awareness & Knowledge - Providing students with information in key knowledge areas will increase both their confidence and ability to reach out and help others.

  • Well-being Perspectives - Adopting and relaying attitudes of acceptance and a non-judgmental stance towards those with mental health concerns will help reduce the stigma associated with seeking help.

  • Support Skills - Developing core skills will help students be more skilled and knowledgeable in supporting others in distress and knowing when to reach out for professional help.

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Learn More

  • If you have questions or need more information, please contact us via email atpaws@mtu.eduor via phone at (906) 487-2538.
  • Download the information flyer below!
  • Click the Nomination button below to nominate a peer, a student, or yourself for the program!