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PEER COUNSELING PROGRAM


If you have a serious pressing concern, a difficult decision to make, or just need someone to talk with, one of your options for receiving support is a Peer Counselor.

These dedicated and well trained students are available for in-person visits on Tuesdays from 6-9pm, Wednesdays from 4-7pm, Thursdays from 7-10pm, and Sundays from 3-6pm. You can schedule an appointment and see bios of our amazing Peer Counselors anytime, call their office at 315-859-4508, or email them at peercounseling@hamilton.edu.

What are Peer Counselors?

PCs are a group of trained students supported by the Counseling Center who are here to provide additional Peer Counselorsresources to our students as they navigate difficult decisions, points of crisis, or everyday aspects of student life. PCs work cooperatively with the campus to respond to student needs, promote student safety and personal wellness, meet individually with students to discuss any emergent 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 including: stress management, social skills, depression, anxiety, healthy relationships, safe sexual relationships, alcohol, drugs, eating/weight concerns and risk of suicide.

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 call their office at 315-859-4508 or email them at peercounseling@hamilton.edu. We have a well trained and skilled group of peer counselors waiting to help.

Peer Support Groups for Spring 2018

Body Image and Eating Disorder Group (Isabel O'Malley and Julia Dailey)

This is a peer-facilitated support group focusing on body image, eating disorder, and related issues. Sessions will consist of guided conversation and support building. The group will both provide a space for you to share current and past experiences as well as hear others’. You will also develop skills and goals for recovery and healthy body image. All who have experienced negative body image, an eating disorder or would simply like guidance and discussion related to any body, health, or eating-related issue are welcome to join. If you have not had a diagnosis but this issue seems important to you, you are also welcome. 

Sexual Assault Survivors Group (Hannah Meisels and Amelia Mitchell)

This group offers a safe, confidential space for survivors to come together to process their experiences with sexual assault and misconduct. We will provide members with support and encouragement in helping them to build connections within the group and to share experiences at a level that they feel comfortable. Sexual assault may affect people in a variety of ways and we hope that this space will help participants to articulate and develop the nuances of their own healing processes. Participants can expect to practice self-care strategies, receive emotional support, and develop coping skills. 

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.

Recruitment begins in the Spring semester of each year. 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.

Recruitment is currently concluded for next academic year. If interested in becoming a Peer Counselor, please apply in Spring 2019!

Administrative & Clinical Support

Dennis G. LaLonde, Jr., Psy.D.

Dennis G. LaLonde, Jr., Psy.D.

Program Trainer

Dennis is a staff counselor in the Counseling Center and is assisting with clinical supervision and training for Peer Counselors. Dennis’ years of experience in college mental heath settings are an invaluable resource for trainees, and he is excited to work with our amazing group of counselors.

Sarah Fishman ’16

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. Sarah now lives and works in the Boston area.

Heather Cosgrove, Ph.D.

Heather Cosgrove, Ph.D.

Co-Founder and Consulting Supervisor

Heather served as the Assistant Director of the Counseling Center and during that time was the lead administrative coordinator and clinical supervisor of the Peer Counseling Program and the Peer Counselors. Now the Training Director at Syracuse University, Heather worked with Sarah Fishman to create and establish the Peer Counseling Program and was invaluable in making the program the success that it is today.

Isabel O’Malley '18

Isabel O’Malley '18

Former Student Coordinator of Training

A member of the first Peer Counseling class, Isabel worked with our staff counselor Heather 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 is a Psychology and Creative Writing double major interested in increasing the accessibility of mental health services.

Contact Information


Counseling Center

100 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323
In Crisis?
Help at Any Time

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

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