Speak UP! Ambassadors provide a helping relationship based on mutual respect, shared responsibility, and a mutual agreement on what is helpful while supporting habits and choice that encourage wellness.
Schools and organizations that implement Project Speak UP! are strongly encouraged to partner with counseling or mental health professionals to train Ambassadors to serve as peer helpers.
Professionals who are responsible for implementing peer-helping programs shall be people of professional and personal integrity. To be ethical, peer professionals must operate programs in alignment with NHPA Programmatic Standards. NHPA believes that Code of Ethics for peer helping professionals should contain the following guidelines:
1. A belief that peer helping is an effective way to address the needs and conditions of people.
2. A commitment to an individual's right to dignity, self-development, and self-direction.
3. Program development which demonstrates
- A strong positive rapport with peer helpers.
- Personal commitment to the peer-helping program.
- Integrity of acquiring necessary training for specific work with students.
- Utilization of a training curriculum that is aligned with NHPA Programmatic Standards.
4. Selection of trainers and program managers who:
- Model positive behavior
- Reject the pursuit of personal power or gain at the expense of others.
- Respect copyright and acknowledgement obligations.
Training of Speak UP! Ambassadors should include:
- Code of Ethics
- Mission Statement
- Ethical Limitations and Boundaries
- Emotional, Legal and Reporting Issues
-Types of Responses
- Facilitation of small group discussion
- Emergency Situations and Levels of Response
The values described below are often considered essential for individuals involved with group learning and with facilitating the learning process.
- Recognize each individual and his/her right to be heard.
- Believe in everyone's ability to grow and change.
- Value and acknowledge each person's strengths.
- Encourage the full expression of ideas
- Honor everyone's right to make choices.
- Value each person's right to their own perspective.
- Be aware of and take responsibility for your own feelings, values, thought and unresolved issues and recognize the impact these have on others.
- Be consistent between the expression of your thoughts and feelings and the way you behave and act.
- Remain open to positions that differ from your own even when those opinions differ.
- Be aware of and work within your own limits. Set clear personal boundaries.
- Accept each individual as valuable in his or her own right.
- Trust in the ability of each individual to discover his or her own solutions to problems.
- Recognize individual strengths and efforts to change.
- Focus on the individual, not the behavior.
- Provide feedback that focuses on observations rather than judgement.
Schools and organizations that implement a Speak UP! Ambassador Peer Helper Program are strongly encouraged to partner with qualified mental health professionals for ongoing supervision, training and support of Ambassadors.