Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Reaching Out 1: Befriending and Befriended

LEVEL 00 - Mod Pre-Tert, Foundation, Proficiency & DegreePlus

ECTS CREDITS Not Applicable

DEPARTMENT Degree Plus Programme

DESCRIPTION This unit gives the opportunity to students to provide friendship and social support to service users with mental health issues as part of the Befriending Volunteer Programme organized by Mt Carmel Hospital Psychological Services, Health Directorate. It is open for students who have already developed basic communication and helping skills as part of their training, namely students in their final years of their course at the Faculties for Social Wellbeing, Medicine and Surgery or Health Sciences. Students will be expected to give one to two hours per week to a befriendee (a service user with mental health issues) to develop a one to one relationship and engage in a range of experiences and activities together. Activities may involve going out for a coffee and a chat, going out for a walk, eating out, a cultural visit, cinema, shopping, or accompanying befriendee to an appointment Students will be provided with training, guidance and supervision/mentoring during the whole programme.

Learning Objectives:

• To introduce students to the importance of providing social support to those who use community services;
• To enhance students' sensitivity to the needs of community services users, particularly service users with mental health issues;
• To provide opportunities for students to use and develop their skills and experiences in providing friendship and social support to service users with mental health issues.


In keeping with the spirit of Degree Plus, there is no formal assessment associated with the unit. A certificate of attendance and of satisfactory completion of the unit will be provided at the end of the semester.

Note: Degree plus units are not designed to be incrementally burdensome in terms of the many academic demands placed on students during their undergraduate years.

Unit Material:

There are no set texts for the unit, though students may be guided to appropriate material as part of their training and skill development and practice.

ADDITIONAL NOTES This unit is offered only to third or fourth year undergraduate students of the Faculties for Social Wellbeing, Medicine and Surgery, and Health Sciences.


Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Attendance No 100%

LECTURER/S Carmel Cefai (Co-ord.)
Joseph Noel Grima (Co-ord.)

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.