“Peer support is ‘the process by which like-minded individuals with similar experiences – who have traveled or are travelling the road – encourage and assist each other to continue the recovery journey.’” – Canadian Coalition of Alternative Mental Health Resources
Our Peer Support service provides the opportunity for anyone – individual, family member or professional – looking for a connection with others, who is new to the mental health and/or addiction community, or looking for information about a mental health diagnosis, the chance to speak with someone with lived experience. Our peers provide:
- a warm welcome
- knowledge of the mental health and/or addiction community
- connection to mental health and/or addiction services
- a bridge to services in the community
- emotional and social support to others who share a common experience.
When you call CMHA the first person you talk to will be someone who may have travelled a similar journey to your own who can assist and provide you with information on your options, opportunities and supports available. They have had over 120 hours of training on relationships, recovery and peer support and a lifetime of experience. Finally, our peer workers are special because they are able to connect with individuals that are often left feeling disconnected by the health system as they share a common experience and understanding with those they speak with.
CMHA believes strongly in peer support because research shows us that when you make a connection with someone with lived experience of mental health and/or addiction, you are more likely to: engage with community, see a decrease in symptoms, move through the recovery journey, develop skills, and access crisis supports less often.
You can connect with our peer support program over the phone at 403-297-1402, face-to-face at the Kahanoff Centre (Suite 400, 105 – 12 Ave. SE) or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is always a peer available to connect individually from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday to Friday (excluding holidays).
Please note: CMHA – Calgary does not provide crisis services. If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the Distress Centre’s 24-hr Crisis Line at (403) 266-HELP or visit their website. If you or a person you know is at risk of harm, please call 9-1-1.