Peer School

Thank you for your interest in CMHA Calgary’s School of Peer Support. Applications are now closed for the 2021 – 2022 class and no late applications will be accepted. 

Do you want to share your story of recovery? Would you like to help others with your experience? 

We are always searching for individuals and family members from diverse backgrounds to be a part of our peer support movement. You can learn to use your lived experience with mental health and/or addiction issues to support your community and make a difference.

We provide 83 hours of training, 50 hours of unpaid practicum experience and opportunities to connect to the Peer Supporter Community of Practice. Training is free of cost, but individuals must apply and undergo an interview process before being accepted into the program.

Peer support helps us improve the lives of people living with mental health and/or addiction issues and we truly appreciate the dedication of those looking to be a part of this movement. Those interested in peer support can use their newly gained skills to support others one-on-one, through groups or as ambassadors and educators.

  • Lived experience of being on a personal recovery journey or experience in supporting a family or loved one;
  • 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.

Thank you for your interest in CMHA Calgary’s School of Peer Support. Applications are now closed for the 2021 – 2022 class and no late applications will be accepted. 

All applications must be submitted through the School of Peer Support Pre-Evaluation Application link. No applications submitted in-person or by email will be accepted.

Successful applicants will be invited to a Zoom interview. A final selection of candidates will be accepted into the School of Peer Support program.

Should you be contacted for an interview, please be prepared to provide us with your availability. Class cohorts will be placed accordingly.

  • When will applications open?

Applications for the 2021 – 2022 School of Peer Support will open June 28, 2021, and will remain open until July 31, 2021. The selection process will begin in August 2021, with the final selection and notification of students to be made in September 2021.

  • 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 over Zoom and a final selection of candidates will be invited to participate in the School of Peer Support program.

  • 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 Alberta. 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.

  • When will classes start?

We are still finalizing the schedule, but we expect classes to begin in October 2021 and complete in May 2022. Practicums will begin in May 2022.

  • Will classes be virtual or in-person?

We expect the theory portion of learning for our 2021 – 2022 class to be delivered virtually via Zoom. While there may be an opportunity in the future for class gatherings and activities, planning for virtual delivery ensures the least potential disruption to learning and also enables out-of-town students the opportunity to participate in the program.

  • 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 orientations that are full-day commitments. In order to graduate, you must attend a minimum of 75% of the theory sessions (including orientations) and 100% of the practicum requirement. If a session is missed, there is an expectation that the student will make up for the material missed.

  • 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 Peer School Coordinator to determine the organization (CMHA Calgary or an external partner) 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.

Thank you for your interest in CMHA Calgary’s School of Peer Support. Applications are now closed for the 2021 – 2022 class and no late applications will be accepted. 

Reach out for help

Contact the Canadian Mental Health Association – Calgary Region for more information at (403) 297-1700 or email: info@cmha.calgary.ab.ca.