(110 ILCS 58/35)
(a) Because peer support programs may be beneficial in improving the emotional well-being of the student population, each public college or university must develop and implement a peer support program utilizing student peers to support individuals living with mental health conditions on campus. Peer support programs may be housed within resident assistant programs, counseling centers, or wellness centers on campus.
(b) Peer support programs must utilize best practices for peer support, including, but not limited to: (i) utilizing the tenets of the recovery model for mental health, (ii) adequate planning and preparation, including standardizing guidance and practices, identifying needs of the target population, and aligning program goals to meet those needs, (iii) clearly articulating policies, especially around role boundaries and confidentiality, (iv) systematic screening with defined selection criteria for peer supporters, such as communication skills, leadership ability, character, previous experience or training, and ability to serve as a positive role model, (v) identifying benefits from peer status, such as experiential learning, social support, leadership, and improved self-confidence, (vi) continuing education for peer supporters to support each other and improve peer support skills, and (vii) flexibility in availability by offering services through drop-in immediate support and the ability to book appointments.
(Source: P.A. 101-251, eff. 7-1-20