Whitehorse high school teaches peer counselling

A new course at Porter Creek Secondary School in Whitehorse is aimed at teaching students crisis intervention and counselling skills to help their peers.

Course trains students in crisis intervention

CBC's Brian Boyle reports from Whitehorse 1:46

A new course at Porter Creek Secondary School in Whitehorse is aimed at teaching students crisis intervention and counselling skills to help their peers.

Instructor Mike Swainson says in a real crisis, students often turn to their friends instead of their parents or teachers. 

On Tuesday, he gave the students a final practical exam.

"Your teammate ran across the intersection and was hit by a car and this happened right in front of you so you saw the whole thing happen," he said.

"This is where we are going to put the spin on the story. This event has also triggered a prior event in your life when you guys were in Grade 5 you were hit by a car when you were out on your bicycle so seeing this has really triggered a previous event for you."

Swainson says before the course even started he asked students to imagine the kinds of crisis they might have to deal with.

"Bullying was big," he said. "Parents getting divorced, stress over examination time."

Other schools around the territory are watching the program and considering offering it in their schools.

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