Peer Support. Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • The Mental Health Commission of Canada defines peer support as "a supportive relationship between people who have a lived experience in common … in relation to a mental health challenge or illness … related to their own mental health or that of a loved one" (Sunderland et al. 2013: 11). In Ontario, a key resource for peer support is the Ontario Peer Development Initiative (OPDI), which is an umbrella organization of mental health Consumer/Survivor Initiatives (CSIs) and peer support organizations across the province of Ontario. Member organizations are run by and for people with lived experience of a mental health or addiction issue and provide a wide range of services and activities within their communities. The central tenet of member organizations is the common understanding that people can and do recover with the proper supports in place and that peer support is integral to successful recovery. Nationally, Peer Support Accreditation and Certification Canada has recently been established. The relatively new national organization focuses on training and accrediting peer support workers. This paper focuses on a range of diverse peer support groups and CSIs that operate in London and surrounding areas.

publication date

  • 2016