Become a Peer

Do you want to share your story of recovery? Would you like to help others by sharing your experience? We are always searching for individuals and family members from diverse backgrounds to be a part of our Peer Support movement.

Illustration of Peer Support Workers.

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 recovery journey to use their experience to support their community and make a difference. We provide 83 hours of training, 50 hours of unpaid practicum experience, and opportunities to connect with the Peer Supporter Community of Practice.

For the 2024 – 2025 term, students will be required to pay a program fee, based on a sliding scale. However, we will be offering a number of opportunities for students to receive a full sponsorship to train within the program. All individuals interested in becoming a student in the program must apply and undergo an interview process before being accepted into the program.

Qualifications and Skills Required

  • Lived experience of being on a personal recovery journey or experience in supporting a family member or loved one on a recovery journey;
  • Comfort level sharing your story of recovery with others;
  • Availability to complete 83 hours of training and a 50-hour unpaid internship;
  • Familiarity with Peer Support and a deep commitment to and understanding of the recovery model

2024 – 2025 term will open on June 28, 2024 at 9 am MDT. Please note that all interested applicants must use the application link which will be posted on this web page; we do not accept applications by email, phone or in person.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When will applications open?

    Applications for the 2024 – 2025 School of Peer Support will open on June 28, 2024, and remain open through July 28, 2024. The interview process will begin in August 2024, with the final selection and notification of students to be made in September 2024.

  • What is the process to apply for the School of Peer Support?

    When applications open, the first step will be to apply through the School of Peer Support Pre-Evaluation Application link. This is a series of questions used to determine which applicants will be invited for an interview. Please do not send applications via email, over the phone, or in person. For those applicants selected, interviews will be conducted and a final selection of candidates will be invited to participate in the School of Peer Support program.

  • Are there any costs associated with being a student in the School of Peer Support?

    Students who are accepted into the program are required to pay a program fee based on a sliding scale. However, we offer a number of opportunities for students to receive a full sponsorship to train within our program. Program fees help CMHA Calgary continue to offer high-quality programming to students, recovering a portion of the costs associated with continuous development and delivery. The majority of the cost per student is covered by CMHA Calgary and our generous supporters. Students will also be responsible for the cost associated with obtaining a Police Information Check, which is a requirement for placement in a practicum.

  • Can I apply for the School of Peer Support if I don’t live in Calgary?

    Yes! We will consider applications from out-of-town students who live within Canada. Please keep in mind for the practicum placement of out-of-town students, there will be an expectation that the student takes an active role in seeking out an agency for placement. Out-of-town students will attend classes virtually. We cannot accept any applications from candidates who live outside of Canada.

  • Can I request an accommodation for an interview with the School of Peer Support?

    Yes, students who are invited to an interview for a position in the School of Peer Support may request accommodations for a disability upon being invited to interview.  CMHA Calgary will make every reasonable effort to accommodate these requests.

  • When will classes start?

    We are still finalizing the schedule, but we expect classes to begin in October 2024 and be completed in June 2025. Practicums will begin in June 2025.

  • Will classes be virtual or in-person?

    We plan to deliver classes for the 2024 – 2025 semester of the School of Peer Support in both in-person and virtual formats. Please note that there will not be a hybrid model; there will be classes which are dedicated in-person delivery, and classes which are dedicated virtual delivery. All students who are accepted into the program will be assigned to a specific cohort with a single mode of delivery.

  • What is the time commitment? Do I need to attend all of the sessions to graduate?

    The School of Peer Support program includes 83 hours of theory and 50 hours of unpaid practicum. Theory sessions are scheduled weekly and are generally three hours in duration. Additionally, there will be two orientations sessions that are half-day commitments. Our program has an attendance policy which all students are required to observe in order to obtain a certificate of completion. This will be discussed in greater detail during the first orientation session.

  • Where will I complete my practicum? Will I be paid for my practicum?

    The 50 hours of practicum are to be completed as an unpaid internship. It is important to understand this before applying, as it is a long-term commitment. For your practicum placement, you will work together with the School of Peer Support Program Manager to determine the organization (CMHA Calgary or an external partner organization) that best fits your interests, availability and unique skillset as a Peer Support Worker.

  • Will I be guaranteed work after I graduate from the program?

    We cannot guarantee that all graduates of the School of Peer Support will be employed upon completing the program. However, taking part in our program is likely to increase the chances of employment in Peer Support roles, as well as create a network of connections with fellow Peer Support Workers through classroom, community of practice, and practicum experience.

  • What if I have more questions about The School of Peer Support?

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