KSA Peer Support Centre Presents Catching Up with Kiran and Kayla

(Submitted)

Peer Support Coordinators Kiran Natt and Kayla MacGillivray have initiated Instagram live sessions through the KSA’s Instagram. The two coordinators go live every Wednesday from 12:00 to 12:30 p.m.

They began hosting the live sessions on July 13 and have been actively doing them ever since. They talk about a different topic each Wednesday and are open to answering any questions students may have.

“We just felt that it would be a good way to interact with students,” says Natt.

Peer Support Coordinators, Kiran Natt and Kayla MacGillivary start Instagram live sessions. (Submitted)

The coordinators say that it’s good for students to see some KSA staff during the pandemic while people are isolated from the university community. In the past, the Peer Support Centre hosted its Chatterbox events in person, where attendees could “meet new people, connect with peers, learn more about mental health, participate in activities, win prizes, and enjoy free snacks and drinks.”

Once the pandemic hit, Natt says they moved their Chatterbox program to Discord, a free text and voice application targeted to a gaming audience.

“However, we do have difficulties in getting a good number of students on there because not everybody has the platform,” she says.

The coordinators decided to use Instagram because more people have access to the application. They thought that if KPU students had the app, they would be more likely to follow the KSA account, allowing Kiran and Kayla to reach a wider audience.

“So usually what our Catching up with Kiran and Kayla consists of is us talking about the Chatterbox topic for that week,” says Natt.

“The other nice thing about the [live streams] is that … people can comment, they can ask us questions, and we can answer them in real-time. And even if we weren’t able to answer a question right on the spot, then we always encourage students to send us an email with the questions,” says MacGillivray.

In their live sessions, they discuss topics like healthy eating and snacking and how COVID-19 continues to impact their daily lives. Sometimes they talk while colouring.

Natt says they encourage their viewers to colour along with them because it can help their mental health. She says colouring reduces stress because it’s both calming and easy.

Both coordinators say that students seem to enjoy the live sessions, which they plan to continue hosting.

“We have done a live meditation. That will fall in the spiritual category. It could also fall into mental health. Different dimensions of well-being is what we try to cover,” says Natt.

They also discuss financial literacy, how the government is supporting students during the pandemic, and grants and bursaries.

The Peer Support team will host a Movies for Mental Health online workshop in the fall. When registration opens, students are welcome to email Natt and MacGillivray at peersupport@kusa.ca.

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