Peer Support Program

The purpose of our Peer Support Program is to enhance the quality of life for people in recovery from a mental illness living in the South Okanagan Similkameen. This free program builds on hope and empowerment in supporting people to understand and live with their illness, learn new skills and coping strategies, achieve their goals, establish social connections, and link with community resources.

Peer support is a process in which people in recovery from a mental illness offer support to their peers. Peer support workers have lived experience with mental illness and therefore are in a unique position to offer support to others that can improve the quality of their lives. Providing and receiving peer support is an integral component of rehabilitation and recovery for people with mental illness.

The concept of peer support relates to the creation of an interpersonal context that is respectful, trusting, and warm. This provides people the opportunity to find their own answers and empowers them to make changes that will enhance their lives.

WHO BENEFITS FROM THIS PROGRAM?

  • People in varying stages of recovery from a mental illness are helped to reach attainable goals
  • Peer support workers gain employment and find a way to give back to their peers
  • Family members and friends can access free educational resource materials
  • Mental health professionals collaborate in an individual’s rehabilitation plan
  • Communities gain active, contributing citizens
  • Businesses gain as recovering individuals join or rejoin the work force

There is also evidence that peer support helps people continue with their treatment plan, reduces hospital use, increases independence and a sense of hope, and may help reduce costs. In the area of mental health, peer support can build a person’s self-confidence, sense of empowerment, and ability to function.

Looking for More Free Education & Support?

Along with one-on-one peer support, we also offer peer support groups on Thursdays as well as the free educational program Your Recovery Journey throughout the year to support individuals living with mental illness.

Check out our “Programs” page or contact us using the form below for more information about peer support and our courses!

Interested in Becoming a Peer Support Worker?

If you have lived experience with mental illness and training in peer support, contact us today to learn how you can apply to work at the Mental Wellness Centre! For individuals without prior training, we also provide assistance with completing the online BC Peer Support Training Curriculum, which can be found here.

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