Peer Support Program
The Duke Peer Support Program trains volunteer colleagues to support their peers. Peer Support Volunteers (PSV’s) listen, help their peers process their experiences, and identify appropriate resources as needed.
A Duke employee may wish to talk confidentially with a Duke colleague about stressors in their personal or professional life, such as when they are:
- Involved in an adverse event or bad outcome (e.g., safety event, workplace violence event)
- Struggling with a professional loss (e.g., patient or colleague death, grant funding)
- Second guessing their skills and/or knowledge base
- Struggling at work given a personal issue
- Experiencing disappointment or conflict in their work environment (e.g., passed over for a promotion, difficult conversation with a supervisor)
Who can become a peer support team member?
Any thoughtful and compassionate Duke Health Employee (in any job classification) who successfully completes a two-hour training, who demonstrates an ability to be effective in this volunteer role, and who gains approval from their supervisor.
What does training entail?
The initial training is a two-hour, interactive session with practice scenarios, plus a half-hour individual session. We also offer ongoing support, training, and opportunities to discuss best practices.
What would make a peer support volunteer successful?
Volunteers should understand and be able to fulfill the role of a Peer Support Volunteer, demonstrate active listening skills, recognize when a referral to a professional resource is needed, and be able to outline the well-being resources available at DUHS.
What is the scope of the intervention?
Duke Peer Support Volunteers will listen, provide peer support, and may refer someone to professional healthcare resources as needed. The program is staffed by peer volunteers, does not include professional mental health or other medical services, and should not be used as a substitute for those services. If a team member is experiencing a life-threatening emergency, they should immediately call 911, or go to the closest emergency room. If a team member would like to talk with a professional counselor or other medical professional, they should call PAS at 919-416-1727.
Are the interventions confidential?
Information provided by Peer Support Volunteers will NOT be a part of someone’s personnel file or medical record. All information that the Peer Support Recipient provides in connection with the Peer Support Program that identifies or could be used to identify them will be kept confidential UNLESS it is determined that disclosure is permitted or required by law or Duke policy (for example, if a court order mandates the release of information).
For more information or to set up an additional training session, email Melissa Segal at email@example.com