Everyone has a story. What’s yours?
This Is My Story (TIMS) is a free, student peer-to-peer support event by Ryerson SMASH. At TIMS, we come together in a safe space to listen to each others’ stories and share our own. Everyone has a story about something significant that happened or is happening in their life – it could be about stress, personal identity, gender, sexuality, mental health, relationships, family and friends, discrimination, fitting in, body image, or any other matter. Later in the event, everyone is invited to share, but you do not have to. Come tell your story and hear others’ at TIMS.
Audience: All Facilitators and Participants (i.e. you!) are Ryerson students.
Dates: Our first semester TIMS dates have passed but keep an eye out for next semesters events!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is student peer-to-peer support?
It is informal support from one student (peer) to another (peer). The Facilitators at This Is My Story are not trained or certified counsellors or therapists. We are all Ryerson students who want to listen, share, and support each other.
What is the structure or flow of the event?
The event is as follows:
(1) After everyone checks in, we will be divided into Small Groups (2 Facilitators and 4 Participants).
- Facilitators are SMASH team members who are informally trained in facilitating story sharing.
- Participants are people who attend the event (i.e. you!)
(2) The Host does a brief event introduction with the Full Group (i.e. everyone).
(3) Within the Small Groups, the Facilitators lead icebreaker activities, and pass around the Safe Space Consent Form.
(4) The Host leads an activity called “The Movement” with the Full Group.
(5) We have a quick break (light snacks and drinks are available).
(6) After we return, 2-3 Guest Speakers share their stories with the Full Group.
(7) Within the Small Groups, the Facilitators share their stories, and then invite Participants to share their own stories.
(8) With the Full Group, the Host leads an ‘Open Floor,’ in which anyone can share anything on their mind.
(9) Within the Small Groups, the Facilitators lead Check-Outs, and Resource & Goodie Bags are given out.
Who are Facilitators?
Facilitators are SMASH team members who are informally trained in facilitating story sharing.
What are Resource & Goodie Bags?
The Resource & Goodie Bags are bags that we’ve put together that include a list of resources (including Ryerson CSDC’s Safety Net Pamphlet) and items that promote & remind you of your self-care and support systems.
Do I have to talk? Does my story have to be about a certain topic or shared a certain way?
Everyone has a story about something significant that happened or is happening in their life – it could be about stress, personal identity, gender, sexuality, mental health, relationships, family and friends, discrimination, fitting in, body image, or any other matter. You don’t have to talk about anything in particular, and your story doesn’t have to sound a certain way. It doesn’t need to be the most significant story in your life. It doesn’t have to have an ending. You can share whatever you’d like about yourself and experience. We encourage you to share however much you are comfortable with. It is okay to ‘pass.’
What if I feel emotional while listening or sharing my story?
That is 100% okay. It is okay to express yourself, like by crying. We come prepared with tissue boxes. 🙂
How will my privacy be respected? What is a Safe Space Consent Form?
In order to maintain everyone’s privacy, we start the event by passing around the Safe Space Consent Form. After everyone has had a chance to read the form, we all sign the form.
The Safe Space Consent Form has 3 sections: Confidentiality, Safer Space, and Liability.
- The Confidentiality section is to agree to maintaining the privacy of others, and to acknowledge that the Facilitators and Hosts may break confidentiality in specific instances (e.g. the abuse of a minor).
- The Safe Space section is to outline actions that are not accepted at our events (e.g. violence, harassment, discrimination).
- The Liability section outlines that the event only provides informal, student peer-to-peer support and is not (nor an alternative to) counselling, therapy.
If someone does not want to sign the form, unfortunately, we will need to evaluate the reason, and may ask this person to leave in order for us to maintain privacy and promote a safe space.
Will there be food?
Unfortunately, we will not be serving dinner, but we will have light snacks and beverages available!
Do I have to signed up or bring anything?
Nope! You don’t need to bring anything with you.