Peer Counseling

graphic of hands holding a heart graphic of hands holding a heart

Western Illinois University
Peer Counseling

Creating a Connection

The Peer Counseling Program at WIU is designed to provide comprehensive support and resources to students facing various challenges. We take a holistic approach to well-being and recognize the central importance of human connection. We have hotline services and face-to-face peer support counselors, creating a flexible model that adapts based on feedback.


At WIU, we're dedicated to fostering a supportive campus community. Our mission is to provide a safe and private space where students can seek support, share their concerns, and access resources. We are driven by the principles of hope, person-centered care, holistic well-being, resilience, and equity. These principles guide everything we do.

Core Values

  • Hope: We believe in the potential for growth and positive change in every individual.
  • Person-Centered: We respect each person's unique strengths, values, and goals.
  • Holistic Well-being: We address physical and emotional well-being, housing stability, a sense of purpose, and a supportive community.
  • Resilience: We help students build the capacity to cope with adversity and setbacks.
  • Equity: We strive for fairness and inclusivity, ensuring that all students have equal access to support.

If you just need someone to talk with, one of your options for receiving support is a dedicated and engaged Peer Counselor (PC). Peer counseling appointments are in-person on the Macomb campus and must be scheduled through Calendly.

Days & Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday • 4:00-7:00 p.m.


Have you recently attended an appointment with one of our WIU Peer Counselors? We value your opinion. Please take a moment to tell us what you think. Your responses will not be linked to you or given directly to your peer counselor. Instead, they are sent to the clinical supervisor for quality improvement and acknowledgment.

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 peer counselor will connect with you about the best plan moving forward.

Peer Counselors

Peer Counselors are here to provide active listening and promote empathy, create meaningful spaces for connection, and create moments of social connection within the campus community. PCs are trained and supported by the Psychology Department and are not a substitute for therapy. They are here to listen, support, and provide resources on topics related to everyday aspects of the student experience. Students who are in need of clinical mental health services or are in crisis should seek a licensed professional.

Nate Bloom
Nate Bloom (He/Him)

I’m from Farmington, New Mexico. Music creation is my main hobby. I enjoy playing my acoustic guitar and listening to my record collection. (MF Doom, the Beatles, Deftones, Biggie to name a few). I’m a Junior, Psychology Major, Law Enforcement Justice Administration Minor I have dual interests in psychology, writing my honors thesis on neuropsychological approaches on developing new potential PTSD treatments, while also focusing on developing I/O psychology skills to cater to a growing professional psychology career. I hope to progress my career through graduate school, finding a master's program for either I/O or Clinical Neuroscience. I hope to be a strong, positive, and adaptive pillar in the PC program. Offering supportive and adaptive patient-oriented help to the clients of the PC program.

David Hale
David Hale

Hi my name is David and I am a Senior studying in psychology. I have been a part of hotline since Spring 2022 and have took the position of team lead for hotline. While studying in psychology, my aim is to become a counselor for those suffering from PTSD. I hope to become a recognized peer counselor here on campus and help out the community. Some of my hobbies include skiing and video games. I really enjoy playing video games especially with my friends.

Isabelle Robbins
Isabelle Robbins

My name is Izzy and I'm currently a senior here at WIU. When I'm not in class or at my off-campus job I spend time with my friends and two cats! I'm originally from the Springfield area but I've made a place for myself here in Macomb. I plan on becoming a counselor in the future and am looking forward to meeting with students to give them a space to express themselves.

Jacob Rod
Jacob Rod

Hi, my name is Jake! I'm a senior in psychology. I came to WIU to attend graduate school and become a licensed professional counselor. I’m deeply passionate about people, animals, plants, and personal growth. My goal is to provide an open mind to hear the experience and perspective of my peers.

Ilayzia Walton
Ilayzia Walton

Ilayzia is a passionate and dedicated member of the Hotline team. She took on the role of team lead in the Fall 2022 and became the co-director in the Fall 2023. She aspires to obtain her master's degree while working closely with the correctional system. Her interest in the Peer Counseling Programs is rooted in her profound desire to make a positive impact on the lives of others.

Interested in becoming a Peer Counselor?

Being a Peer Counselor can provide valuable experience with active listening and outreach skills, a unique experience for your graduate school resume, and a meaningful 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 empathic support to others, enthusiastic about designing and facilitating programs for the campus community and work effectively within a collaborative team environment. Peer Counselors are selected from those who have successfully completed the Hotline Training Course.

WIU Student Hotline


Kristy Keefe
Dr. Kristy Keefe

Dr. Keefe is an Associate Professor in WIU's Department of Psychology. She is the director of the student hotline and supervisor of the peer support counseling program. Learn more about Dr. Keefe.

I love to see students come together to make deep human connections and support a community.

Office: Waggoner Hall 155
Phone: (309) 298-1593 Email:

James Churchill
James Churchill, Graduate Assistant

James is honored to serve as the Graduate Assistant for the Peer Support Counseling Program. A graduate student in the Clinical/Community Mental Health Psychology program at WIU, James holds a deep commitment to mental health advocacy and creating a supportive campus community.

With a background in psychology and crisis services, James supports Peer Counselors through mentorship, supervision, and guidance. He is devoted to enhancing the effectiveness of the program and contributing to the personal and professional growth of each Peer Support Counselor.

WIU Peer Support Program is a place to create connections and a sense of community. Additional resources are available for students in need of immediate crisis care.


If someone's safety is involved or a person is in immediate danger take action immediately:

Victim Assistance

File a criminal report with WIU's Office of Public Safety (OPS)
Office: Mowbray Hall
Phone: (309) 298-1949

File a complaint with Equal Opportunity and Access
Office: Shermal Hall 312
Phone: (309) 298-1977


TimelyCare offers provides complete clinical care, advanced technology, and expert guidance to support students, faculty, and staff in higher education.

  • 24/7 access to virtual care, self-care, and well-being tools.
  • Visit for immediate assistance.
  • Use your WIU email address to get started.
  • Services are free.

University Counseling Center

The University Counseling Center provides free, confidential counseling and has crisis appointments available from 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. each day. Please call to schedule an appointment.

Office: Memorial Hall 102
Phone: (309) 298-2453

WIU Psychology Clinic

The WIU Psychology Clinic provides free therapeutic services and low cost assessments to campus and community members in the west central Illinois region. Individual, couples, family, and group therapy are available. Please call to schedule an appointment.

Office: Waggoner Hall 116
Phone: (309) 298-1919

WIU Student Hotline

Hotline is a service provided for both the Western Illinois University and Macomb communities. Our staff consists of paraprofessional student volunteers. We are trained to provide callers with information, referrals, and telephone support and guidance. We provide empathy and understanding while helping callers resolve their concerns.

Daily Hours (when residence halls are open): 7:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.

Student Development and Success Center

The Student Development and Success Center assists students through their transitional periods focusing on academic and personal development. We can assist with absences, care reporting and referrals, emergency and crisis follow up, military activations, and University withdrawals.

Office: Memorial Hall 125
Phone: (309) 298-1884

Leatherneck Care Referral

The Leatherneck Care Referral program offers an easy-to-use tool to share non-emergency related concerns about student behaviors and potential barriers to success. Staff from the Student Development and Success Center lead the coordination of the Leatherneck Care Referral program and are trained to assist.

North Central Behavioral Health Systems

Provides a wide variety of mental health treatment and support services to adults and children. Visit the website for additional information.

(309) 833-2191 (24 hour emergency number)