If you just need someone to talk with, one of your options for receiving support is a Peer Counselor (PC). These dedicated and engaged PCs are available for remote (Zoom) visits on Mondays, Tuesdays, & Wednesdays & 6-9 p.m. and Sundays 4-7 p.m.

Please note that Peer Counselors are a listening service, and may not be the best resource given your specific concerns or needs. If PC service is not an appropriate resource, we may refer you to a professional therapist and/or your professional therapist may decide that Peer Counseling is not in the best interest of your treatment. In these cases, the PC program coordinator or your therapist will connect with you about the best plan moving forward.

What are Peer Counselors?

PCs are a group of trained students supported by the Counseling Center who are here to provide additional resources to our students as they navigate difficult decisions or everyday aspects of student life. PCs work cooperatively with the campus to respond to some student needs, promote student safety and personal wellness, meet individually with students to discuss lighter concerns and hold events that cater to student wellness and stress reduction. They seek to raise awareness, provide education and serve as a resource to other students on a wide variety of health issues.

How do I connect with a Peer Counselor?

There are several ways to connect with a peer counselor! The easiest is to schedule an appointment online. You can also email them at peercoun@hamilton.edu. We have a skilled group of peer counselors waiting to help.

Outreach Programming

The Peer Counseling Program is dedicated to improving the overall well-being and resiliency of our fellow students on the Hill. One of the ways we serve the campus community is through our outreach programming. Upon request, the PC program offers presentations and workshops that address important topics, such as self-care and mindfulness, sleep hygiene, and suicide gatekeeper training. If you are interested in a program or workshop for your organization/club, please email us.

Interested in becoming a Peer Counselor?

Being a Peer Counselor can provide valuable experience for your graduate school resume; specialized training in counseling techniques, crisis management, leadership and human relations; and a unique opportunity to help your fellow students. Those who would be a good fit for the program are: strong leaders on campus, skilled in listening and providing compassionate support to others, enthusiastic about designing and facilitating programs for the campus community and work effectively within a collaborative team environment. The Hamilton College Peer Counseling program recruits a new training class each spring.

Administrative & Clinical Support

David Walden, Ph.D.


Hi! I'm the Director of the Center and the Peer Counseling Program Supervisor. I'm excited to work with the PC's, and I'm proud of this unique program and the impact it makes on our community. Visit me on Instagram.

Katelyn U. Cowen, MPH, CHAS

Director, Community Health Promotion

Katelyn is the Director of Health Promotion and co-supervisor of the PC Program. She is excited to work with the PC's on outreach efforts and being part of a community of care on campus.

Sarah Fishman ’16

Founder and Student Director Emerita

Sarah is a 2016 graduate who majored in comparative literature. After speaking with peers as well as researching equivalent programs at other colleges and universities, Sarah, in collaboration with the Counseling Center, created a program uniquely suited to the diverse needs of the Hamilton student body. She played on the rugby team and was a member of the Hamilton College Orchestra during her time on campus.

Isabel O’Malley ’18

Former Student Coordinator of Training

A member of the first Peer Counseling class, Isabel worked with our staff counselors to create the training manual. She received an Emerson grant to research Peer Counseling at other schools and universities, co-write the manual, and help plan training and other aspects of the program. Isabel was a Psychology and Creative Writing double major interested in increasing the accessibility of mental health services.

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In Crisis?

Call 315-859-4340 and press option 2 to speak with a counselor 24/7/365.

If you want off-campus help, call 1-800-273-TALK or text “START” to 741-741.


Contact Name

Counseling Center

Office Location
Johnson Center for Health and Wellness

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