CMHA Calgary’s School of Peer Support provides a unique opportunity for people who have a lived history with a mental health or substance use challenge to use their experience to support their community and make a difference.
Becoming a Peer Support Worker
After hearing high praise from a friend about the School of Peer Support, Becky (she/they) applied and was accepted into the 2021 – 2022 School of Peer Support cohort.
“[My class] was such a wonderfully diverse group with different backgrounds. Despite being totally online, we did build connections with one another and I think I’ve formed some lifelong friendships through [School of Peer Support].”
Through 83 hours of training and recovery-oriented practice, Becky completed the School of Peer Support and was offered a position as a CMHA Calgary Peer Support Worker.
“Peer Support is not just a career choice, it’s a lifestyle. I’ve learned that every struggle and every challenge that we face is an opportunity for growth and learning.”
Becky utilizes their lived experience to shed light and possibility onto the recovery journey, which to others currently navigating through tough times, may look treacherous. As a Peer Support Worker, Becky encompasses hope and connection while helping those struggling to find their way and, in the future, become a beacon of light for others.
Facilitating SMART Recovery
Coming from a background of mental health and addictions, Becky volunteers as a lead facilitator at SMART Recovery at the Airdrie location.
“I am responsible for overseeing the operations of our local SMART Recovery group, under the direction of our Regional Coordinator. This includes planning and facilitating weekly meetings and sharing some of the important knowledge and skills I learned during my time at the School of Peer Support.
SMART Recovery Airdrie is a support group for people and their loved ones who are currently experiencing, or have experienced, addiction.
“I got involved with SMART Recovery Airdrie about a year into my own journey of addiction recovery and was immediately welcomed into the community. It was through my involvement with SMART that I first learned about Peer Support. The first step in my journey towards becoming a Peer Support Worker was taking the SMART Recovery Facilitator Training, then becoming an active member of the Facilitation Team.”
Through science-based support, SMART Recovery engages its participants in methods used to overcome addictions through self-determination and personal growth.
“My involvement with SMART Recovery is important to me, and I’m grateful for the ability to volunteer my time to walk alongside folks on their own journey of recovery.”
Going Forward In Their Journey
Reflecting on their time at Peer School, Becky wishes they did not have the looming and reoccurring thought that to be a student at Peer School, you needed to have your life already set in place.
“I thought I felt so unworthy because I was experiencing struggles throughout the program. And I wish that I could go back and give myself that grace to just experience and work through the struggles and learn.”
Becky uses self-care techniques such as gardening, cooking, and creating art as ways to self-care and combat negative feelings and thoughts.
Through the Peer Support program, Becky will continue to shine their light to those still in the dark.
If you’re interested in applying to CMHA Calgary’s School of Peer Support, please read through our Qualifications and Skills section located on the ‘Become a Peer‘ page on our website and apply below.Apply Today!
Our Peer Support program services can be accessed over the phone at 403-297-1402 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have teamed up with other Calgary agencies to help Calgarians quickly and easily access various counselling and social supports. Visit www.communityconnectyyc.ca, where you can book online for our Suicide Bereavement and Family Support Counselling, and other supports. If you prefer to still book through us, please phone (403-297-1708), or email (email@example.com).
Become a Peer
CMHA Calgary’s School of Peer Support provides a unique opportunity for people who have a lived hi...Read More