We believe in the transformative power of peer support.

 

Peer support is emotional and practical support between two people who share a common experience, such as a mental health challenge or illness. A Peer Supporter has lived through that similar experience, and is trained to support others.

Peer Supporters listen, provide emotional support, and most importantly, inspire hope. 

About Peer Support Canada

We believe in the transformative power of peer support.

Peer support is emotional and practical support between two people who share a common experience, such as a mental health challenge or illness. A Peer Supporter has lived through that similar experience, and is trained to support others.

Peer Support Canada connects peer supporters and organizations, helping share information and building capacity for peer support. We also offer Certification for Peer Supporters and Family Peer Supporters.

Peer Support Canada offer certification for Peer Supporters, Family Peer Supporters, and for Peer Support Mentors. Peer Support Certification is a confirmation of one’s knowledge, skills, and experience as a peer supporter. Certification verifies one’s alignment with the nationally endorsed Standard of Practice, and is recognized across Canada.

The Standards of Practice for mental health peer supporters were developed in consultation with peer supporters from across the country and endorsed by peer leaders representing interests nationwide. The national Standards of Practice consist of the knowledge, competencies, experience, and code of conduct requirements to effectively provide peer support services with due care and skill in a variety of settings.

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We are pleased to announce that Peer Support Canada is now working alongside the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA).

Recognizing CMHA as a strong national partner with the infrastructure, resources and reach to truly make peer support grow, the Board of Directors of Peer Support Canada has transferred operations to CMHA.

Both of our organizations have shared core values around hope, recovery and the power of peer support. As a nation-wide leader for community mental health, CMHA, with its policy and advocacy reach, is in a unique position to advance the principles of peer support, and advocate for increased access to peer support across the country.

We are committed to preserving the independence of the certification process. The Certification of Peer Supporters, Family Peer Supporters, and Peer Support Mentors will not change. Our Certification Committee will continue to be an independent, peer-run body, serving as the guardian of the certification process. Peer Support Canada will maintain its own identify, including our name and website. Peer Support Canada’s staff, Shaleen Jones and Lauren Dickler, will continue their work at CMHA as National Associate Director, Peer Support, and Peer Support Certification Coordinator respectively.

We look forward to building on the strengths and resources of both CMHA and Peer Support Canada as we work to accelerate the growth of Peer Support across Canada.

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Our History

In 2010, the Mental Health Commission of Canada and its Workforce Advisory Committee (WAC) identified an opportunity to transform the mental health system in Canada through the integration and promotion of peer support. Peer Support (Accreditation and Certification) Canada was created into carry on the work started by the Mental Health Commission of Canada, promoting the growth, recognition, and accessibility of peer support.

The organization developed a robust certification process for Peer Supporters and Family Peer Supporters, grounded in the Standards of Practice.

Acknowledgements

We gratefully acknowledge the Peer Support Canada Board of Directors for their vision, leadership, and bold thinking in both founding the organization, and in orchestrating the integration with CMHA. It is their commitment to peer support that will allow for the acceleration of peer support across Canada.

Staff

Shaleen Jones | Executive Director   

Shaleen was the past Executive Director of Peer Support Canada. Shaleen is passionate about recovery and the transformative power of peer support. She has worked in the fields of peer support and mental health for over 20 years, holding leadership positions with peer led organization such as the BC Eating Disorders Association, Laing House, and Eating Disorders NS. Shaleen was one of the first people trained to provide peer support for those with eating disorders, and is a Certified Peer Supporter.

Lauren Dickler | Certification Coordinator   

Lauren has been an advocate in the mental health community since being diagnosed with depression and panic attacks in 2006. She has been providing peer support, raising funds for mental-health related charities, and working to increase education and reduce stigma associated with mental illness ever since. Lauren brings 11 years of experience teaching and supporting students and is completing her PhD at York University on mental health/illness in athletes.

Certification Committee

This team of experienced peer supporters assess the knowledge of Certification applicants, make recommendations for Certification, and provide expert guidance.

Kim Dixon
Mike Douglas
Debbie Sesula
Deborrah Sherman

Michelle Way
Debbie Wiebe
Fiona Wilson

Peer Support Canada Mentors

Our Certified Peer Support Mentors are matched with Certification applicants, providing guidance and feedback throughout the Practicum.

Andy Cox
Kim Dixon
Karen Henze
Tracey Mitchell

Debbie Sesula
Deborrah Sherman
Debbie Wiebe
Fiona Wilson

Candidates:
Tom Kelly
Patrick Raymond
Michelle Way

Peer Support is a core contributor to the recovery process.

—Mental Health Commission of Canada

Peer Support Resources

Peer Support Competencies  

The 11 core competencies required for the providion of peer support. These competencies are assessed as part of the Certification process.

Peer Support Certification Handbook  

This handbook outlines the essential experience, knowledge, skills, and competencies that make up the National Standard of Practice, and the Peer Support Certification process.

Information for Peer Support Certification Practicum Sites  

The 3rd phase of the Certification process is the practicum. This guide gives an overview of the requirements for Practicum sites.

Guidelines for the Practice and Training of Peer Support (MHCC)  

Developed by peer supporters across Canada, these guidelines serve as the basis for Peer Support Certification. This document outlines the core values, principles of practice, and skills and acquired abilities for peer supporters. 

Peer Support Code of Conduct  

The principles that form the foundation of the practice of peer support.

Peer Support Core Values  

The ideals and ethics grounding peer support work.

Making the Case for Peer Support (MHCC)  

This seminal 2010 report highlights the status of peer support in Canada, and made the case for investment in clinical and community settings. Making the Case for Peer Support recommended the development of national guidelines for the funding and development of peer support.

The Peer Support Training Knowledge Matrix  

An audit tool for peer support training programs to help align training content with the Peer Support Standards of Practice.

Peer Support Certification

Peer Support Canada offers certification for Peer Supporters, Family Peer Supporters, and for Peer Support Mentors. Peer Support Certification is a confirmation of one’s knowledge, skills, and experience as a peer supporter. Certification verifies one’s alignment with the nationally endorsed Standard of Practice, and is recognized across Canada.

The Standards of Practice for mental health peer supporters were developed in consultation with peer supporters from across the country and endorsed by peer leaders representing interests nationwide. The national Standards of Practice consist of the knowledge, competencies, experience, and code of conduct requirements to effectively provide peer support services with due care and skill in a variety of settings.

PHASE
one

  • Application for Certification
    as a Peer Supporter
  • Assessment of Acquired Experience
  • Assessment of essential
    peer support competencies
$ 90 + tax

PHASE
two

  • Assessment of knowledge
    through a written exam
  • Areas of strength and
    areas for development identified
$ 440 + tax

PHASE
three

  • Completion of a practicum supervised by a Certified Peer Support Mentor
  • Practicums are tailored for each applicant and can range from 5-20 weeks.
  • Whenever possible, the 10 practicum hours each week are fulfilled at existing workplaces
  • Final assessment of competencies Review by Certification Committee
$ 750 + tax

Information on
Peer Support Certification

Peer Support Certification
Application

Family Peer Support Certification
Application

Connect with Peer Support Canada

500-250 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M5T 2Z5