CAPS Peer Education Program

Founded in 2013, the CAPS Peer Education Program (PEP) has the mission of providing well-informed and supportive suicide prevention outreach to the UCSC student community. We enact this mission through tabling, educational workshops, and online outreach presence to increase awareness and reduce stigma around of struggles with suicide, mental health issues and treatment. Our talented and diverse team of undergraduate Peer Educators are trained in a variety of topics to help them succeed in their role. CAPS is proud of our Peers' valuable contributions to the mental health and well-being of our campus.


PEP Talks: What you need to know

PEP Talk is a 15–20 min coaching conversation with a CAPS Peer Educator. During PEP Talks you can talk to the PEP Educator about an everyday stress you might be experiencing, or questions you have about CAPS services. Our PEP Educators can provide you with some general support and some information about where you might get additional help on campus for the stress you are experiencing.

What days and times do PEP Talks happen?

View the CAPS Calendar for dates and times. PEP Talks happen during the academic year (may vary depending on availability of PEP Educators.) PEP Talks do not happen the week of finals, or during campus breaks, summer or holidays.

Where do PEP Talks happen?

PEP Talks happen at Rachel Carson, Room 212 

Do I need an appointment to attend a PEP Talk?

PEP Talks are a drop-in service. Students are seen on a first come first serve basis, and no appointment is needed.

What if I just need resources but don’t want to talk about my stress?

That’s okay too! PEP Educators are here to help provide resources that might be helpful.

If both PEP Educators are speaking to a student when you get there, the PEP team member who greets you at arrival will instruct you to take a seat at one of the desks next to the room.

If it seems our PEP Educators may not be able to speak to you that day, a PEP Team member will give you information on other drop-in services that you can utilize.

What Do Peer Educators Do?

Peer Educators attend a 4-day orientation prior to fall term and attend weekly meetings throughout the school year. Within their 38 hour weekly volunteer commitment, Peer Educators' responsibilities include:
  • Facilitating interactive, informational workshops on stress management and other topics. 
  • Provide one-on-one supportive coaching conversations to students through PEP Talks.
  • Coordinate and contribute to social media campaigns for mental health
    awareness, including the PEP Podcast, Blog, and the UCSC PEP Instagram.
  • Representing CAPS through outreach to the campus by tabling at special events, giving presentations in classes, and creating relationships with student groups and orgs.
  • Assisting with annual CAPS outreach events, such as a screening day for depression, Movies for Mental Health, a suicide prevention and awareness vigil, and other special events as needed.
  • Publicizing and promoting CAPS special events and programs.
  • Assisting with special projects as needed by CAPS staff.

Do You Want to Be a CAPS Peer Educator?Flowers being watered and the quote "Hope Through Action"

Apply to work with CAPS PEP. Applications for our recruitment cycle for 2023–2024 open on May 30, and will close at midnight on June 30, 2023.

Requirements to be a CAPS Peer Educator:

  • Registered UCSC undergraduate in good academic standing.
  • Excellent public speaking and workshop facilitation skills.
  • A passion for helping others, promoting mental health awareness, stigma reduction, and issues related to diversity, inclusivity, and multiculturalism. Interest and experience with social justice issues is a huge plus!
  • A flexible, positive attitude and excellent time management skills.
  • Professional communication skills.
  • Strong desire to represent CAPS' mission and positive image to the UCSC campus community.
  • Ability to commit to volunteer 3-8 flexible hrs/week for the entire academic year (Fall, Winter & Spring).
  • Ability to attend weekly PEP team meetings each quarter (Fridays 9:00 a.m.10:30 a.m.).
  • Attend a required two-day training and orientation in the week before the start of Fall classes (date TBD).

Preferred qualifications:

  • 3.0 minimum GPA
  • Sophomore class standing in 20232024 school year
  • Previous public speaking, teaching, coaching, or other group facilitation experience
  • Creative or artistic skills for creation of promotional materials
  • Blog or social media experience for program promotion

Benefits offered:  

  • Yearly Stipends
  • Flexible Hours
  • Professional Development & Training

If you have questions about PEP or the application process, please contact the PEP
Coordinator, Dr. Jess Magallanes-Evans at