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Peer Mentorship and Mental Wellbeing

Why is Communication Important?

It is important to know how to best communicate with your peers because communication is the foundation for a strong peer mentoring relationship. When you engage in a conversation, you are listening, responding, and perhaps asking questions. Communication is most effective when both parties are listening to understanding, rather than listening merely to speak or to hear.


What Makes a Good Question?

We ask questions to learn more about someone else, to keep the conversation going, and to encourage others to see the bigger picture. As a peer mentor, it is important to know how and when to ask quality questions.



As a peer mentor, you may come across times when you are faced with a difficult issue or a difficult conversation. One way to know how to act in these situations is to review some common scenarios that you or your peers may encounter as a graduate student.

  1. Read the scenarios here.
  2. Reflect on how you would act in each scenario.
    1. As a mentee: What would be the best way to ask for help in this situation? What would a peer be able to help with, rather than a supervisor/staff member/family member, etc.?
    2. As a mentor: How would you respond to your peer in this situation? What kind of questions would you ask? What kind of support could you offer – and what kind are you not willing to offer?
  3. Remember there is no right answer for how to respond to each scenario. Everyone’s peer mentoring style is different.

Remember that you do not have to approach every scenario on your own. There are resources to support you and your peers. See our page on Referring Up to know what resources are available and when to use them.