PEER COUNSELING TRAINING
Members self select to become peer counselors. They attend a 12-hour training (over the course of six weeks) to become well acquainted with counseling issues particular to the queer youth community. They practice and perfect their own empathetic skills in becoming an effective active listener. At the end of the training, there is a final role play in which it is decided whether or not the peer counselor is ready to step into individual or small-group peer counseling sessions. Monthly follow-up supervision is mandatory for 6 months as the peer counselors begin counseling sessions. Peer advocates are readily identified on the member phone list, and must commit to a service term of one year. High priority is given to creating the safe, private space for peer counselors to do their work. There is a room in the PI Center designated for just this purpose.