Sessions

National Conference on Peer Support 2018
Concurrent Sessions

To view and download the Conference Program: Click here

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Women have always supported each other through life events. Creating opportunities for women to share their unique experiences of mental health and mental illness is fundamental to their recovery. This panel presentation will feature three perspectives of peer support: the peer receiving support and two peers providing support.

PRESENTERS: Anita Manley, Victoria Higgins, and Glenda O’Hara | Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre

Anita Manley is a trained peer facilitator, and passionate mental health advocate. She was instrumental in developing peer support in Women’s Mental Health at The Royal. Anita shares her story of recovery with many audiences. She is an active member of advisory groups at the local and provincial levels. Anita is the recipient of The Royal’s 2015 Inspiration Award.

Victoria Higgins is a stand-up comedian and author diagnosed with major depressive disorder and PTSD. Peer facilitated workshops have reduced her feelings of isolation and reassured her there is a safe way out of the darkness. She has participated in the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) and Journaling as a Wellness Tool workshops through The Royal’s Women’s Mental Health program.

Glenda O’Hara is the Vice-Chair of the Client Advisory Council and editor of the council’s newsletter The Client’s Voice at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Care Centre. After benefiting from programs at the Resource Centre for Women, she trained as a facilitator and helps run several program there. She shares her story of hope with her group members, family groups, staff and the public.

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Mary-Jane’s dream has been to include PADS Puppies in Training in her role as a Peer Support Worker. Along the way she has worked with ‘Mint’ and her one to one clients, in a residential setting with ‘Pippan’ and 5-7 clients and presently in the CMHA’s Kelty Dennehy Mental Health Resource Centre where “Juniper” visits 20-25 people per week. If you are interested in incorporating Puppies in Training or Accredited Facility Dogs in your Peer Support or Peer Navigator work, this session is for you. There will be PADS service dogs and their trainers in attendance.

PRESENTER: Mary-Jane Moore | CMHA Vancouver Coastal Heath

Mary-Jane Moore was trained as a Peer Support Worker with Vancouver Coastal Health in 2010, and has worked in the field for the past 7 years. She has worked for Adult Mental Health Services, Magnolia House, the Transition Program at the Hope Centre and is presently happily working as a Peer Navigator at the Kelty Dennehy Mental Health Resource Centre, part of the Canadian Mental Health Association. She is a facilitator of the WRAP program (Wellness Recovery Action Program) and is presently teaching at CMHA and in the Transition Department at the Hope Centre.

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This creative session is designed to relax participants through meditation, and to allow them to step out of their creative way to write honestly from their inner voice. Learn how facilitating this workshop motivates clients to build into their lives the benefits of meditation, journaling and mindfulness.

PRESENTER: Lisa Colbert | Vital Spark

Lisa Colbert is a grateful, recovering addict who today is a public speaker and workshop facilitator. She inspires perspective change through mindfulness and conscious living. She has been a repeat guest on local radio show 900CHML and has spoken in the Hamilton area as a mindfulness expert at the 2017 Wellness Index, the Best Buddies Conference and the Crazy Good Wellness Series.

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Come experience Creating Choices, a program based on Choice Theory/Reality Therapy concepts, and Laughter Yoga for body, mind and soul. This includes knowing and getting your basic needs met, seeing and reframing your pictures, recognizing and responding to your signals and choosing and acting on your behaviours. You will leave this workshop feeling inspired, empowered and balanced.

PRESENTERS: Debbie Sesula and Andrea Winterbottom | North Shore Peer Support Program

Debbie Sesula, MA, RTC, CPS, CPSM, works as a coordinator for the North Shore Peer Support Program in North Vancouver, BC. Her involvement in peer support has been 20+ years as a peer support worker, researcher, program and curriculum developer, and she travels to communities to assist them in implementing peer support. Debbie is a recipient of the Consumer Involvement, Courage to Come Back, and Resiliency Awards and is a member of Peer Support Canada’s Certification Commiteee.

Andrea Winterbottom, RYT 200, is a peer support worker and registered yoga teacher, certified Laughter Yoga Leader, Life Coach, and Brain Fitness Instructor. Andrea combines her expertise in these modalities to actively engage with participants. She believes in being kind and compassionate to fellow human beings.

Dr. Corey Keyes will summarize the conception and diagnosis of positive mental health (from languishing to flourishing), findings supporting the two continua model of mental health and illness and the five implications that flow from support for the two continua model. He will discuss the benefits of flourishing to society and individuals that are possible if public health shifts to include mental health promotion and protection and psychiatric services conceived of the possibility of flourishing in long term recovery. Studies will be reviewed that flourishing is possible in recovery from addiction and mental illness. Dr. Keyes will also explore the powerful role that peer support leadership has in transforming the mental health system to incorporate a model that supports recovery and flourishing throughout the lifespan.

PRESENTER: Dr. Corey Keyes | Emory University

Dr. Corey Keyes holds the Winship Distinguished Research Professorship at Emory University. He was a member of a MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Successful Midlife Development, and he co-chaired — with Martin Seligman, Ed Diener and Don Clifton — the First Summit of Positive Psychology held in 1999. Dr. Keyes is a founding member of the Society for the Study of Human Development, was a member of the National Academies of Science Keck Future’s Initiative on The Future of Human Healthspan. He was a contributing author to the World Health Organization’s publication entitled Mental Health Promotion Worldwide and gave the Dorosin Memorial Lecture on mental health at the 2012 American College Health Association meeting. His research introduced the scientific concept of “flourishing“ and focuses on illuminating the two continua model of health and illness.

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Caregivers are often overlooked when it comes to support services which is surprising as 28% of the Canadian population identifies as supporting a loved one. The prevalence of caregivers within Canada shows the need for support services targeted at family members involved in a loved one’s care. CMHA Calgary has successfully implemented a Family Peer Support program that strives to build resiliency in those supporting a loved one with a mental health or addiction concern. Come learn about the codevelopment and co-delivery process that we used in making this program successful.

PRESENTERS: Meghan Reid, Myra Murias and Diane Matovich | CMHA Calgary Region

Meghan Reid is a Registered Social Worker who has lived experience with a mental health concern, as well as experience learning to navigate the tricky waters of family interactions. Her passion lies in working with those who have lived experience in order to build capacity in those who are living with a mental health and/or addiction concern.

Myra Murias is a health educator, has completed the CMHA School of Peer Support and is currently completing a diploma in nutrition with a focus upon mental health issues. She supported a family member with mental health concerns and is now helping support other families through the family peer support program at CMHA.

Diane Matovich completed the CMHA School of Peer Support and graduated as a Family Peer Support Worker in 2016. She continues to engage with caregivers and support families through ongoing drop-in groups, workshops and in one-on-one settings. Her lived experience has proved to be a huge asset when in engaging with families and caregivers.

Samantha Eady completed the CMHA School of Peer Support and graduated as a Family Peer Support Worker in 2016. She is currently blending these skills with her education background by working as a Recovery Trainer developing and delivering courses in the CMHA Recovery College. She sees her lived experience and Peer training as a helpful catalyst to connecting with the young adults, individuals and caregivers she gets to work with.

Jenna Warren is a family peer support worker who is an advocate for change in the stigma surrounding mental health. She tells her story to as many people as she can to help others struggling with mental health concerns as she supported a family member who also struggled and wants to see some serious changes in how we treat mental health. She completed the CMHA School of Peer Support and graduated as a Family Peer Support Worker in 2016. She continues to engage with caregivers and support families through ongoing drop-in groups, workshops and in one-on-one settings.

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How do we blend cultures based around family and community, not individuals, and peer support and certification? Guam, CNMI, FSM, MI, Palau and American Samoa are working on this. Come hear how they are looking at ways to integrate their cultures and peer support.

PRESENTER: Robyn Priest | Peerlink National TA Center

Robyn Priest is the Lead Project Coordinator with Peerlink National TA Center. She is involved in peer support in 10 countries. She was part of the team that completed the MHCC Making the Case for Peer Support report and works/consults in a variety of provinces within Canada related to peer support.

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In this presentation we will explore the unique features, principles and philosophies of peer confidentiality and co-confidentiality and the distinctive and inherent experiences involved. The subtle and overt differences between peer and clinical confidentiality and reporting requirements will be explored. And finally, how do we respond to these differences?

PRESENTERS: Tyrone Gamble and Kristina Niro | Psychiatric Survivors of Ottawa

Tyrone Gamble works as a peer support worker in Ottawa. He provides peer support in various environments, including several hospitals. He also co-coordinates a community based volunteer peer support program. He has lived experience with parallel realities, including voices. He facilitates groups on parallel realities and hearing voices; groups that he has been actively and passionately involved in developing.

Kristina Niro works as a program coordinator for Recovery Connections at Psychiatric Survivors of Ottawa. She provides peer support in hospital settings and facilitates community groups surrounding the experiences of young adulthood, substance use, hearing voices, and parallel realities. As someone with lived experience, Kristina is passionate about creating nonjudgmental spaces where people feel safe and valued in sharing their experience.

BeanBag Chat is a peer support and counselling app designed by and for young adults in Toronto, Canada. The process of co-designing a mental health support app with young adults, professionals, technology developers and the community will be shared.

PRESENTER: Alicia Raimundo | Stella’s Place

Alicia Raimundo has been described as a “mental health superhero”, battling serious bouts of anxiety, depression and a suicide attempt since the age of 13.She has, given two TEDxTalks, was named one of 2012 “faces of mental illness”, spoke at the Clinton Global Initiative, headlined UN’s international youth day 2014 at the UN headquarters in New York, and represented Canada in Thailand and Ottawa at One Young World conferences.

Addiction and Mental Health, AHS, Edmonton Zone has hired twelve new peer support workers onto various clinical teams over the past year. This has increased the PSW workforce from three to fifteen in a very short time. These PSW’s work on various teams across the portfolio, with various areas of specialization, different team composition and dynamics and different managers. The integration of Peer Support onto these teams has proven to be both challenging and extremely rewarding. A panel discussion with all key players represented will share their experiences.

PRESENTERS: Michelle Knox, Keith R. Lang, Lisa Kemp, Jodie Greenway, & Briana Dickie | Alberta Health Services, Edmonton Zone

Michelle Knox, is the Program Manager with Housing and Recovery Supports in Addiction and Mental Health Edmonton Zone with Alberta Health Services. She has spent the majority of the last ten years of her career working in both front-line and management positions within the area of Recovery Supports.  One of her primary passions has been the integration of peer services into the mental health system and she has been incrementally working towards this goal since the mid 2000’s.  She is thrilled to see the exponential growth in this area over the last year.  Michelle has a BA in Recreation Administration from the University of Alberta.

Sheri Schmidt is currently an active Peer Support worker with lived experience in the Edmonton Zone Assertive Community Treatment (EZ ACT) team where she works alongside clients, Mental Health Therapists, Psychiatrists and other disciplines on the EZ ACT Team. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree (Major in Sociology and Minor in Art History). She has been for 3 years with Alberta Health Services and was among the first three Peer Support workers officially hired within AHS. Prior to this she had been contracted by AHS Mental Health Services with the EZ ACT team via the Schizophrenia Society of Alberta. Her presence and advocacy within her role has helped foster a new culture in the EZ ACT team and bridge many clients to AHS services. She has extensive knowledge of the role of a Peer Support Worker and has taken many courses and training sessions such as the Prairies to Peaks program and various internal AHS or the Schizophrenia Society of Alberta education opportunities to broaden her understanding of the Peer Support role. She currently pursuing more knowledge of the Peer Support role and served as an advocate for the future enhancement and incorporation of the role into Addiction and Mental Health Services.

Keith R. Lang graduated from the Grant MacEwan Registered Psychiatric Nursing in 2001. Currently enrolled and completing the Psychiatric Nursing Science degree program through Douglas College. Over Twenty five years of exposure to Mental Health with years of experience (5.5 as a PA and 16.5 as a Nurse). He is currently serving as a Care Manager for Edmonton Zone Intensive Services and has served in past as a front line nurse and clinical lead/nurse in charge in multiple settings, which range from community based programs such as ACT to in patient general psychiatry and forensic programs over this period. As well he has served on the United Nurse of Alberta’s Executive Provincial Board for 7 plus years a patient/nursing activist and leader.

Frances has personal and family experience of mental health problems her work experience includes peer advocacy, peer support, co-production of the Power through Peers group, facilitation and research. Frances brings a positive, strengths focused and recovery oriented approach to those around her whether they be peers or the professional interdisciplinary team staff that she works with at Alberta Health Services in Edmonton. Currently she is co-chair of the Prospectus Working Group for the Edmonton Recovery College project and has a special interest in integrating art in her recovery and peer support work.

Briana Dickie attributes her vision of a future and recovery without limits to the support she received through an Early Psychosis Intervention program in Ontario. After graduating from the program, Briana began volunteering with CMHA WW and quickly became part of the team with the introduction of a new peer role. Briana takes on new opportunities with enthusiasm and moved to Alberta Spring 2017 to join the growing field of Peer Support Work within Alberta Health Services. Briana divides her time working with youth and young adults providing system navigation through the ACCESS Open Minds Clinic Edmonton and provides 1:1 peer support to adults to support their own vision of recovery without limits. She joined Alberta Health Services in spring 2017 as a Peer Support Worker dividing her time between ACCESS Open Minds Clinic and Recovery Supports to support youth and adults in their own vision of recovery without limits.

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The workshop discusses the toolkit created to enhance the competencies of non-peer supervisors. The essential role that reflexive practice plays in maintaining effective peer worker practice will also be reviewed.

PRESENTERS: Julia Read and Keely Phillips | Self-Help, CMHA Waterloo Wellington

Julia Read is a PhD candidate in Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University. Her research interests, inspired from both her lived experience and her work as an Addiction Therapist, include exploring contemporary social constructions of addiction and mental distress as well as decolonizing approaches towards understanding addiction. Julia believes people who have experienced being diagnosed or criminalized as “addicts” share unique experiences of marginalization.

Keely Phillips is the Manager of Self Help Services at CMHA Waterloo Wellington. Keely works to expand the presence of peer support throughout the local system and undertakes research related to strengthening the practices and integrity of peer support. In her work, Keely draws from her lived experience of mental health issues in addition to experiences as a researcher and peer worker.

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Peer supporters face unique social and financial barriers to self-care, and added stigmas when exhibiting burn-out. At Stella’s Place, we’ve implemented supports for self-care that are embedded in organizational practice and culture for all staff. In this session Franklynn and Jeanine will share their learnings and, through audience participation, examine peer self-care as a collaborative process.

PRESENTERS: Jeanine Claus and Franklynn Bartol | Stella’s Place

Jeanine Claus, B.S.W. Jeanine (she/her), turtle clan, is a Peer Support Worker at Stella’s Place. She is a proud queer femme from the Kanien’kehá:ka and Lenape nations. She has strong interests in mental health and social justice advocacy, spiritual wellness, harm reduction, therapeutic art practices and sex worker rights.

Franklynn Bartol, MSc. Franky (they/them) is the Peer Initiatives Manager at Stella’s Place–a community mental health organization in downtown Toronto serving young adults aged 16-29. They are passionate about LGBTQ+ and consumer-survivor politics and have a background in developmental neuroscience, psychology, psychoanalytic theory, and program evaluation.

With lived experience in all the following areas, Imtiaz, Lee and Priscilla explore how everyone plays a role in supporting those with multiple barriers when dealing with race, gender and sexuality through a mental health lens. Participants will engage in interactive activities and walk away with a healthy understanding of the power of language and how to be apart of a new future in mental health.

PRESENTERS:

Lee Thomas | DefineUMental Health Programming Inc Priscilla Cherry | CMHA Calgary

Lee Thomas is a speaker, writer, and mental health advocate based in Fredericton NB. They are professionally mental ill, and queer just for fun.

Canadian freelance journalist and public speaker Priscilla Cherry, has used her education in Journalism to attract the attention of ET Canada, LIVE with Kelly and Breakfast Television producers. After growing through a personal journey of mental health, she’s now a Peer Support Specialist at CMHA Calgary. Priscilla believes in the healing power of sharing her life experiences for a meaningful purpose and empowers anyone that identifies, to do the same.

Download PDF of Slides – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Whether an emergency service first responder or military veteran requires Peer support during their service or in ‘retirement” – they and their service should not be forgotten.

PRESENTERS:

Dr. Megan McElheran & Keith Stahl | WGM Psychological Services Ltd Jim and Debbie Lowther | VETS Canada Mrs. Vicki Key | Victoria Police Force – Australia

Dr. Megan McElheran is a Clinical Psychologist and Managing Director of WGM Psychological Services Ltd. Her training has focused on the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. In her clinical practice she works with active duty members of the Canadian Forces, RCMP, Veterans, Firefighters, Emergency Medical personnel and other first responders who have been directly or vicariously impacted by exposure to traumatic events.

Keith Stahl has been a firefighter in Calgary for 22 years, and he is a Captain. He’s been involved with the peer support team since it’s inception in Calgary in 2016. He is married to Jenn and they have 4 amazing children.

Jim Lowther is the CEO and Co-Founder and a veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces who was medically released after a 15-year career and a diagnosis of PTSD/ other service-related disabilities. As a result of a chance encounter with a homeless veteran with whom he had served, Jim and his wife Debbie formed VETS Canada in 2010.

Debbie Lowther VETS Canada’s Co-Founder and Chair, has represented the organization at numerous national venues, including Veterans Affairs Canada Stakeholder Summits, the Mental Health Commission of Canada and the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs. Debbie received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013 and the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation in 2016.

A 23 year veteran of Victoria Police Force in Australia, Vicki Key was instrumental in creating the Retired Police Peer Support Program. Her last position was the Acting Officer in Charge of a busy 24 hour metropolitan police station. Retired early because of a serious work related physical injury she then began the Retired Police Peer Support Officer program. Vicki presents to various groups.

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Join our Alberta peer support movement. Learn directly from the change agents, two Certified Peer Supporters, as they share their journey of collaborative leadership. Acquire an understanding of how mentorship bridges clinical and community based services. Discover their mentorship practices and take strategies back to your workplace to build trust and hope in peer support.

PRESENTERS: Debbie Wiebe | CMHA Calgary, Pamela Spurvey | Alberta Health Services

Debbie Wiebe has worked with the Canadian Mental Health Association – (CMHA) Calgary Region for over 20 years. She is a provincial project Mentor overseeing peer support implementation, training and internships as the head of the CMHA Peer School’s faculty of education. She volunteers with Peer Support Canada as a Peer Mentor and Certification Committee Member.

Pamela Spurvey is a Certified Peer Support Worker for Alberta Health Services, a Mentor with the Edmonton Drug Treatment Court and holds a position with the Salvation Army that supports women achieve greater wellness from mental health and addiction. Pam sits on committees for Homeward Trust as a voice for people experiencing homelessness. She is a certified Financial Literacy Instructor with Empower U.

Download PDF of Slides – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

A sharing of narratives and lessons learned from three innovative urban peer-led harm reduction initiatives. Each group will present a brief history and overview of their program and its location within the sphere of local and national harm reduction initiatives and the overdose crisis, as well as perspectives, outcomes and lessons learned. The panel will touch on commonalities and distinctions in recruitment, experiences of integrating people with living experience of drug use into institutional working environments, the dangers of assimilation and value of genuine commitment to peer self-determination, challenges and advantages of unique political and geographical settings, shared successes, and challenges moving forward.

PRESENTERS:

Anne Marie Hopkins | Ottawa Inner City Health Eris Nyx & Debbie Ann Moodie | Raincity Housing Gab Laurence & Bryan Deresti | St. Stephen’s Community House

Anne Marie Hopkins has 9 years experience working with homeless/street communities, including at Ottawa Inner City Health (OICH), which provides their health care. As OICH’s Supervisor of Peer Outreach Services, she launched an Overdose Response and Prevention Peer Support Program during the 2017 opioid crisis. A graduate of Sheridan College’s Community Outreach Development program, she is completing BSW studies at Carleton University.

Eris Nyx is the Assistant Manager of RainCity Housing’s Peer Services. She is a queer, trans woman, who uses her own personal narrative of struggle to facilitate dialogue between folks who use drugs and the larger institutions that exist on unceded Coast Salish territories.

Debbie Ann Moodie has been a Safer Use Peer Witness with Raincity Housing since the program’s inception in 2017. A self-described “drug addict working on getting clean, an ex-booster, and an ex-street worker”, Debbie’s experiences inform her work with people who use drugs. Her resilience and resoluteness in the face of Vancouver’s overdose crisis serve as testament to the hard work and dedication of peers working in harm reduction.

Gab Laurence has worked for St. Stephen’s Community House since 2012. Her background is in complex substance use case management. Recently she has changed her focus and moved into managing peer and employment programs for individuals living with substance use and mental health.

Bryan Deresti has been a peer with St. Stephen’s Community House for almost 2 years. He holds a social services degree from George Brown College. Bryan’s been actively involved in peer work as it relates to substance use and mental health. He is a strong advocate for the implementation of peers in the workforce and peer program models in the field of social services. Currently, Bryan works as a Peer Worker at the new Safe Injection Site at Fred Victor Centre in Toronto. He continuously seeks out opportunities to promote the benefits of peer integration; aiming to encourage shifts in the culture of supportive services.

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A leaders guide to change: reforming and transforming services through the growth of Peer Support and Recovery Oriented Practices.

PRESENTER: Laureen MacNeil and Callum Ross | CMHA Calgary Region

Laureen MacNeil is the Executive Director at the Canadian Mental Health Association Calgary Region (CMHA Calgary).  Prior to joining CMHA Calgary in 2013, she worked with Alberta Health Services and the Mental Health Commission of Canada. Laureen is a professional engineer and holds a Masters in Health Services Administration from Dalhousie University and an Executive Certificate in Management and Leadership from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management.

Working with the Canadian Mental Health Association Calgary as Policy and Advocacy Lead and as Co-Chair of the Calgary Council for Addiction and Mental Health, Callum Ross leads mental health and addiction initiatives and innovations. His role is to support collaboration within the sector that meets the emerging challenges related to needs of Calgarians living with mental health and addiction challenges.

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This presentation will highlight three key lessons learned from a collaborative project developing a new toolkit to help grow and strengthen peer support service delivery for people living with HIV and/or Hep C: creating a process for meaningful collaboration and still meeting the deadline; adapting mental health material to new settings; and involving the people who matter.

PRESENTER: Alison Kyte | CMHA Kelowna

Alison Kyte is the manager of Wellness Programs and Special Projects at the Canadian Mental Health Association in Kelowna. She has a MA in Leadership from Royal Roads University. She has worked in the mental health field for over 20 years and joined CMHA Kelowna in 2008.

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How does a quality improvement project incorporate the principles and values of peer support? This presentation will describe how that can be achieved and will provide suggestions that participants can make use of in their organizations and communities.

PRESENTERS: Allan Strong and Robin Spence-Haffner | Choices for Change

Allan Strong, is the Clinical Lead for Peer Support with Choices for Change. He has been active in the peer support community as a spokesperson, advocate, and researcher.

Robin Spence-Haffner, is the Quality Improvement Lead with Choices for Change. Robin is passionate about engaging users of service in a meaningful and productive way in the quality improvement process.

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Punjabi Community Health Services’s Peer Support Program forms a holistic program support to the client. The Peer Support Workers (PSW) help with navigation, support and linkages to other services. PSW form an integral part of professional staff and work in close cooperation with the clinical staff. This has resulted in reduced emergency visits to the hospitals and increased well-being of clients.

PRESENTERS: Arshed Bhatti | Punjabi Community Health Services

Arshed Bhatti is representing Punjabi Community Health Services (PCHS), a registered Charity in Ontario which has been serving diverse communities in the Peel Region since 1990.

PCHS programs encompass a range of support services to families and individuals coping with mental health, addictions, domestic violence, and settlement related challenges. It also provides services to seniors, and those aiming to prevent homelessness in South Asian populations.

Arshed Bhatti is coordinating service provision under three aspects of PCHS programs viz. Housing, Poverty and Enterprise Development. In his international career before joining PCHS, he has been civil servant with the Government, social development professional with international charities like British Council and Save the Children, an entrepreneur, TV presenter, and a researcher.

Arshed obtained his Master degree in Development Management from London School of Economics and Political Science, UK.

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Resilience plans are an important part of any Self-Care Toolbox. Do you have an up-to-date resiliency plan? Learn more about a Canadian-based recovery booklet designed by peers for peers.

PRESENTER: Beth Henry | Prairies to Peaks Consulting Inc.

Beth Henry was certified as a Peer Specialist in Atlanta, Georgia. Upon returning home to Calgary she founded Prairies To Peaks Consulting Inc, with a passion and vision to provide tools to peer workers as they move forward in in their own recovery and provide good peer support to others.

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Peer Support Canada offers Peer Support Certification and Family Peer Support Certification, grounded in the Peer Support Standards of Practice. Come learn about what is involved in achieving Peer Support Certification, including the assessment of core competencies, assessment of acquired experience, the knowledge assessment, and the guided practicum.

PRESENTERS:

Debbie Wiebe | CMHA Calgary Debbie Sesula | North Shore Peer Support Program

Debbie Wiebe has worked with the Canadian Mental Health Association – (CMHA) Calgary Region for over 20 years. She is a provincial project Mentor overseeing peer support implementation, training and internships as the head of the CMHA Peer School’s faculty of education. She volunteers with Peer Support Canada as a Peer Mentor and Certification Committee Member.

Debbie Sesula, MA, RTC, CPS, CPSM, works as coordinator for the North Shore Peer Support Program in North Vancouver, BC. Her involvement in peer support has been 20+ years as a peer support worker, researcher, program and curriculum developer, and she travels to communities to assist them in implementing peer support. Debbie is a recipient of the Consumer Involvement, Courage to Come Back, and Resiliency Awards and is a member of Peer Support Canada’s Certification Commitee.

Download PDF of Slides here

How peer support speaks to and engages Indigenous Cultures is an important question that needs to be investigated. Cultural differences around the meaning and practices of wellness and support can arise. In this presentation two Métis men will discuss their experiences providing peer support; they will open a dialogue regarding developing an Indigenous framework and guidelines for peer support.

PRESENTERS: Tyrone Gamble | Psychiatric Survivors of Ottawa, Guy St-Jean | CMHA Ottawa

Tyrone Gamble is of mixed heritage. He strongly identifies with Irish and Métis heritage. His family includes various Indigenous heritages. He has also experienced diverse cultures, mindsets and environments in his lifetime. Tyrone grew up in Canada’s arctic and spent time amongst Inuit culture. He has lived experience with parallel realities, including voices. He experiences himself as a man between worlds.

Guy St. Jean, Métis with Algonquin origins, is from eastern Ontario. Working on his ancestry to confirm his Algonquin side, he connected to the land as First Nations. Also connected with the spiritual side of the earth, feels grounded and able to connect with Indigenous culture, he’s in his element! Experienced mental health/addiction challenges which able him to relate and connect with similar experiences.

Stories are equipment for living and fill both our waking and sleeping hours. It has long been the tradition of human beings to pass along wisdom through storytelling. One of the major “recovery tools” that peer support providers bring to mental health services is sharing their own recovery story. Peers can be inspired by hearing the truth, hope, and possibilities implicit in the recovery stories of others. It is now relatively easy to create and share stories digitally and there is great potential to employ digital tools in therapeutic and pedagogic ways. This presentation will outline a process of creating and sharing short, three minute digital stories in a mental health peer support setting.

PRESENTERS: Joy Pavelich & Mike Lang | CMHA Calgary Region

Joy Pavelich is the Community Engagement team leader at Canadian Mental Health Association – Calgary Region. A lifelong communicator, working across a spectrum from government, to corporate to non-profit, Joy also holds a Master of Arts degree in professional Communications. Her research was in trauma and narratives and the importance of sharing stories to move past the damaging impact of trauma. When she lost her 20 year old son Eric Schmit to suicide in August, 2013, Joy transferred her skills into supporting mental health awareness, advocacy and action.

Mike Lang is a health narrative specialist, researcher, film-maker, and PhD student at the University of Calgary. He has directed and produced three feature length documentaries and two web series, all focused on different aspects of health and wellness, in addition to publishing research and facilitating the creation of over 350 Digital Stories with a diverse cross-section of patients and families in the past 5 years. Mike’s professional and research focus is on using Digital Storytelling in a research, quality improvement, advocacy, and therapeutic capacity. He uses his storytelling skills to help others share their story and stimulate important conversations about what it means to live well with, through and beyond any illness or injury. To view some of his recent projects visit www.mikelangstories.com or connect with him on Twitter, FaceBook or Instagram @mikelangstories.

Join the National Council of Persons with Lived Experience (NCPLE) in a conversation about why interaction with those who have overcome mental health issues is particularly effective at overcoming one’s own issues.

PRESENTERS: Theresa Claxton, William Pringle, Ken Reddig, Alicia Raimundo, Glenn Roil, Leora Simon, Mark Wade | NCPLE – CMHA National

Theresa Claxton is the past chair and sits as ex-officio to the National Council of Persons with Lived Experience (NCPLE), an advisory body to the National Board of the Canadian Mental Health Association. Theresa is an active community volunteer with extensive experience as a board member with past and current positions with Centre for Addiction & Mental Health, Journal of Ethics & Mental Health, Sound Times Peer Support Services and Community Resource Connections of Toronto and Ontario Peer Development Initiative. Theresa brings 25 + years as an advocate for persons with lived experience and their families of mental health, addiction and developmental disabilities. She is an active member of the Ontario Association of Patient Councils and is a Patient & Family Advisor at her local community hospital. Theresa is also a certified peer supporter, advance level WRAP facilitator and recovery educator.

William (Bill) Pringle is currently the chairman of the NCPLE. He has served for 15 years on CMHA’s Saskatoon Branch board of directors and previously 8 years on the Saskatchewan Division board. Bill is a retired Pyrotechnician and was the Manager of Public Relations for The City of Calgary during the ‘88 Winter Olympics.

Ken Reddig tried to heal himself from the sexual abuse he experienced at a young age. It was only when he was 60 years of age, and had survived numerous suicide attempts, that he landed in a mental hospital. After two stays, he finally began to repair his life and work on a program of Recovery. Now at retirement age, Ken is involved on numerous committees related to mental illness. He continues to tell his story over and over to help others who have had similar experiences.

Alicia Raimundo, Member, NCPLE, has been described as a “mental health superhero”, battling serious bouts of anxiety, depression and a suicide attempt since the age of 13. She has, given two TEDxTalks, was named one of 2012 “faces of mental illness”, spoke at the Clinton Global Initiative, headlined UN’s international youth day 2014 at the UN headquarters in New York, and represented Canada in Thailand and Ottawa at One Young World conferences. When she is not speaking, she writes, researches, advises, and creates awesome and innovative programming with awesome young people (Be Change, Bean Bag Chat as some examples).

Peerology and peer led women’s group peer movement in addictions. This is a collaborative discussion/presentation outlining how men and women have been successful in training and in the practice of service delivery in addictions, healthcare, mental health and wellness. We work to share our lived experience to assist our population on their recovery journey for a balanced better quality of life.

PRESENTERS: Don Aawear & Chelsea Burnham | AAWEAR

Don Baker has a long history of addiction as well as recovery. At present Don lives in Calgary, Alberta and is employed with the Canadian Mental Health Association as a Peer Support Worker in addictions. He is a board member of AAWEAR Alberta Addicts Who Educate and Advocate Responsibly as well as a past President. Don is a member of the National group CAPUD Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs as well as the past Vice President. Don has been a long time community member working with drug user groups in both Vancouver and across Alberta. Don is a firm believer in Peer to Peer Support Workers. Paid positions for Peer work and movement to improve quality of life.

Chelsea Burnham is an addicts / alcoholic who now lives a life of sobriety. She is a Board Member and harm reduction peer outreach worker with the Calgary chapter of AAWEAR, called Grateful or Dead, where she works with those that suffer from alcoholism, addiction, homelessness and other barriers here in Calgary. Chelsea strongly believes that the harm reduction model saves life because she is living proof of that.

Download PDF of Slides here

ACCESS Open Minds is a pan-Canadian network that is transforming youth mental health services. This workshop explores strategies to help grow stakeholder engagement within existing structures, sharing our experience with the implementation of three national stakeholder councils for youth, family/carers and Indigenous peoples. The various peer initiatives that are taking place within the ACCESS Open Minds Network will be highlighted.

PRESENTER: Chantelle Mireault | ACCESS Open Minds

As Partnerships and Stakeholder Engagement Coordinator at ACCESS Open Minds central office in Montreal, Chantelle Mireault collaborates with the National Youth Council, the Family and Carers Council, and the Indigenous Council. Chantelle strives to empower community members with lived experience to contribute their unique expertise to ACCESS Open Minds, a Pan-Canadian youth mental health research project.

Download PDF of Slides here

This Centre for Innovation in Peer Support (formerly Enhancing & Sustaining Peer Support Initiative) launched intentional peer support into over 11 mainstream mental health and addictions agencies. This session will highlight how the implementation came to be; the intentional building of integral relationships within the system; trainings for peers, supervisors and teams; the formation of communities of practices for supervisors and peer workers; the creation of a validated tool for peer support; and its innovative work on supporting ongoing quality improvement in all aspects of integrating peer support philosophy into our health care system.

PRESENTERS: Betty Lou Kristy and Christina Jabalee – Centre for Innovation in Peer Support | Centre for Innovation in Peer Support

Betty-Lou Kristy; Director, Centre for Innovation in Peer Support. She is a bereaved mother, in recovery for 18 years from alcohol/multi-drug addictions, trauma and mental health issues. Betty-Lou lost Pete, her 25-year-old son with concurrent disorders to an accidental opioid overdose in 2001. Betty-Lou has spent the last decade as a provincial system-level, lived experience/family – advisor, educator, and advocate – helping to frame policy, governance, and programming. She also provides peer support and outreach at the community level. Previous to this journey her background was in corporate marketing. She received the 2009 Transforming Lives Award from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), and the 2012/13 ACE (Achievement, Commitment and Excellence) Award –Partner Relations category – from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, for her work with Expert Advisory Narcotics.

Christina Jabalee; Director, Centre for Innovation in Peer Support. Christina brings her personal experience in the field of mental health/addictions/substance use through her family experience as a caregiver and navigating her own wellness. She completed her Bachelor of Social work degree and began presenting on her personal/family story to MPP’s, the All Party Select committee on mental health and addictions and in numerous newspaper articles. She has worked in the Mississauga Halton region for over 8 years facilitating family support groups, peer support groups, trainings, regional planning tables/committees and has presented 100’s of times to high school students and police officers, where she highlights the need for a human approach to health care, where we recognize we are all in this together.

Download PDF of Slides – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Over 20 years of experiences, stories and evidence is shared in a panel and interactive presentation style from Ontario Shores and CMHA Calgary. Together they explore why by setting peer support and recovery as core principles of their services and programs has completely changed everything – empowering each person that accesses their programs to leave with an evidenced sense of hope, belonging and connection.

PRESENTERS:

Katie Enright & John Dick | Ontario Shores Centre For Mental Health Sciences Meghan Reid, Jace Laing Schroeder and Catherine MacAllister | CMHA Calgary Greg Miller & Nigel Mayers | CMHA

Katie Enright has worked at Ontario Shores, starting as a nurse since 2006. Her interest in mental health came from her lived experience with bipolar disorder and PTSD, wanting to help others along their recovery journey. As she continued to live with her mental illness, particularly after experiencing post-partum psychosis, she began to come forward about her struggles and rising above them, eventually being featured on Ontario Shores’ social media podcast “mindvine”. The positive response was overwhelming, and colleagues expressed so much gratitude to have a mental health professional “come out”, as many suffering admitted they felt extremely stigmatized even working in the profession. Katie decided at this time the role of peer support specialist was where her heart was, and has been working in the Recovery College at Ontario Shores since its inception.

John Dick is the Coordinator of the Patient Council at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (OSCMHS), which provides a consumer’s perspective on systemic issues and of services offered at the Hospital. John is one of the founding members of the Patient Council that was established at the center in 1993. He has been employed at the hospital for the past 10 years.

John is a former consumer of the mental health system and has been a public speaker for the past 15 years with the (TAMI) program Talking about Mental Illness which has spoken to over 60,000 high students about the Stigma of Mental Illness and addictions. He has been featured in a Documentary about Stigma of mental illness entitled Extraordinary People. As well as a recipient of the Attorney General Victim Services Award of Distinction.

John shares his story openly to break down the barriers that are caused by having a mental illness and believes we can all recover as a community if we rid our communities of the negative thoughts of those who suffer.

Meghan Reid is a Registered Social Worker who supports in leading CMHA-Calgary’s Recovery College and Peer Support Team. Her passion lies in working with those who have lived experience in order to build capacity in those who are living with mental health and/or substance use concerns.

Jace Laing-Schroeder began their Peer journey as an intern at CMHA-Calgary just over a year ago, and has been a proud, practicing Peer Support Worker for just over six months. They are particularly passionate about promoting diversity, and accessibility within the Mental Health Care system, and looks forward to growing, and continuing to learn with through their community of practice.

Catherine MacAllister – Catherine MacAllister works with the Canadian Mental Health Association-Calgary Region. She is one of the first employed Peer Support Workers within the agency, connecting through lived experience and promoting hope and empowerment. She reaches out to her community to increase awareness and understanding, giving peers the assurance they aren’t alone and instilling hope that recovery is possible.

Greg Miller competed the Art of Friendship and Circle of Friends and graduated from Peer School in 2017. Greg is now a facilitator with Art of Friendship and Circle of Friends with CMHA. Greg loves what he does and is getting satisfaction everyday from helping people.

Nigel Mayers has 20 years of lived experience. He completed Art of Friendship and Circle of Friends and graduated from Peer School in 2017. He is a facilitator for Art of Friendship and Circle of Friends.

Download PDF of Slides here

Stella’s Place in Toronto and Foundry in BC have both developed peer support training curricula for young people with lived experience of mental health challenges. This interactive session will discuss how these different curricula were developed, how young people were involved in the design and delivery of the training, the role of curricula in standardizing the field of peer support, and outcomes of the training and learnings. The differences in approach adopted in the curricula, lessons learned from creating and delivering the training, and areas for further work will be shared.

PRESENTERS:

Asante Haughton & Dr. Stephanie Rattelad | Stella’s Place Andrea Vukobrat & Sarah Irving | Foundry BC

Asante Haughton is the Peer Training and Development Lead at Stella’s Place. He believes in taking a collaborative approach to youth empowerment and social justice initiatives. When not trying to change the world, Asante spends his time being frustrated with Toronto sports teams and spending way too much time on Netflix.

Dr. Stephanie Rattelade is the Quality Experience and Evaluation Coordinator at Stella’s Place. She takes a collaborative approach to research, working with young adults and staff to measure the impact of peer support programs. She is also a chocolate connoisseur and spends her free time hiking and avoiding encounters with bears.

Andrea Vukobrat was a youth peer support worker for 3 years at the Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre, supporting children, youth and families who were experiencing mental health challenges. As a young person with lived experience, the opportunity to see her experiences as giving her expertise and knowledge was transformative and a huge piece of her journey to wellness. Her work now as the youth peer engagement coordinator with Foundry Central Office allows her to combine her two passions of youth engagement and community development by creating opportunities for youth to see themselves as part of positive community development and growth.

Sarah Irving is the Program Manager of Peer Services for the Canadian Mental Health Association Vancouver-Fraser Branch and has had the privilege over the past few years of working as a peer in a variety of different capacities and organizations. Sarah has worked as a peer supporter, has trained and supervised peer supporters, was part of developing the Foundry curriculum for youth peer support, and is currently supporting two amazing peer programs in BC.

Download PDF of Slides here

The presentation will demonstrate a strength-based approach used to engage families in their growth, and how this helps to facilitate greater levels of family engagement and feelings of personal success. The facilitators will provide real life solutions used to promote growth outside traditional services and therapeutic supports, and foster community development.

PRESENTERS: Alison Wood & Alexis Wenzowski | Caroline Families First

Alison Wood is a Family Support Provider with Caroline Families First. She has lived experience of raising children with mental health. She is the parent of three children (two of which with significant mental health), and is a therapeutic foster parent for the past twenty years.

Alexis Wenzowski is the Team Lead with Caroline Families First program. She has worked within the Wraparound model of care for the past five years, and, previously, taught English on a northern Saskatchewan.

Download PDF of Slides – Part 1, Part 2

Come learn about Eating Disorders NS (EDNS)’s innovative, online peer support program that is anonymous and accessible and youth-led to provide access to rural communities then learn about connectingMinds, a peer-navigation platform for families with mental illness developed through the Youth Advisory Council from the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario.

PRESENTERS:

Clayo Laanemets | ConnectingMINDS Michelle Hébert Boyd | Eating Disorders NS

Clayo Laanemets is a graduate from the University of Toronto, with a Masters of Public Health in Health Promotion. She is the Principal Investigator of the ConnectingMINDS platform and the Research and Knowledge Translation Lead within the Youth Advisory Council at the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario. Clayo is also a caregiver to a family member with a serious mental illness.

Michelle Hébert Boyd is a social worker, writer, and mental health advocate. She has over 20 years of experience in community & program development and policy analysis. She is currently Executive Director of Eating Disorders NS, where she helps people living with eating disorders find a voice and hope for recovery. She lives in Halifax with two kids, two cats, and a dog. She blogs about mental health at www.baloneyinthemiddle.com.

Download PDF of Slides here

This session will explore how the role of education on the complexities of harm reduction among housing first/community agencies can expand a peer supporter’s capacity. By unwrapping the definition of harm reduction to other peers we can then explore the complexity of what harm reduction looks like in it truest form. This also serves to build resiliency in avoiding vicarious trauma, can build a better cultural awareness, and a different perspective of relating to others.

PRESENTERS: Jodi Greenway and Pamela Spurvey | Alberta Health Services

Jodi Greenway is currently on a journey of recovery constantly exploring new ways to be a better person than she was yesterday. Jodi started her career path working full time for a supportive housing unit called Ambrose Place in the position of ILS. Recently, she was hired on with DiverseCity as peer support.

Pamela Spurvey struggled many years with mental health and substance abuse issues and has now been on her wellness journey now for 10 years. She is a certified Peer Supporter through Peer Support Canda since 2016. Presently she works for Alberta Health Services as Peer Support Worker and is a mentor with the Edmonton Drug Treatment Team.

Download PDF of Slides here

This session shares the experiences of the Chinese family peers in the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) Group at Hong Fook Mental Health Association, an agency that provides community mental health services to Asian communities in Greater Toronto Area. It highlights how WRAP model is adapted culturally to enhance the self-care of our Chinese family peers

PRESENTER: Quoc TRUONG and King-sun Sunny SIU | Hong Fook Mental Health Association

Quoc TRUONG and King-sun Sunny SIU are family peers of The Chinese Family Support Group of Hong Fook Mental Health Association, which has established for more than 10 years. It promotes mutual learning, sharing and support in a group setting. From the spectrum of receiving help, self-help to mutual support, Hong Fook Chinese family peers grow together in their recovery journey.

Download PDF of Slides here

Certified Peer Support Mentors guide, coach, and assess Peer Support Certification candidates through the Practicum phase. This session will drill into the peer support competencies, and how Mentors coach candidates to reflect upon, and deepen their practice as a Peer Supporter. The process for becoming a mentor will also be discussed.

PRESENTERS: Kim Dixon and Tracey Mitchell | Peer Support Canada

Kim Dixon has over 80 years of experience with mental illness.  She has worked for the BC Schizophrenia Society for 20 years and completed a graduate degree specializing in peer interventions for families affected by mental illness.  Kim has been on a lifetime journey with numerous family members living in recovery from mental illness.

Tracey Mitchell lives in Treaty 6 territory in Saskatoon. She has been the Peer Support Mentor at Mental Health & Addiction Services in Saskatoon since 2014 and is a Peer Support Canada Certified Peer Support Mentor. Tracey also works as the Prairie Region Manager for Next Up, which focuses on leadership training for social and environmental justice.

Download PDF of Slides here

What are the key ingredients that make a peer support program flourish? This session will share prelimiary findings from the Thriving Peer Support Programs research project, conducted in partnership with a virtual research community including peer supporters, people with lived experience, researchers and policymakers.

PRESENTERS: Dr. Simon Coulombe, Andriana Vinnitchok | Wilfrid Laurier University

Dr. Simon Coulombe is Assistant Professor at Wilfrid Laurier University. His research uses positive psychology methods in order to examine the individual, organizational and societal conditions that promote positive mental health of diverse communities, including people living with mental health issues. He is the leading academic researcher on a national study exploring the factors underlying promising mental health peer support practices.

Andriana Vinnitchok is a senior BA Psychology student at Wilfrid Laurier University, who has been pursuing community-based mental health research for the past 3 years. She is passionate about working with community organizations to conduct meaningful and practically-relevant research that contributes to our understanding of well-being.

Download PDF of Slides here

Can peer support exist in a clinical setting? This workshop will look at how Peer Supporter can work collaboratively within a clinical team to bring our invaluable peer lens to our roles, while keeping the spirit of peer support, shifting the focus from treatment planning to a recovery focus, and addressing moral distress we may experience in this role.

PRESENTER: Laura Stanford | Pinecrest Queensway ACT Team

Laura Stanford is the Peer Specialist with the Pinecrest Queensway ACT Team in Ottawa Ontario, where she brings her lived experience to all aspects of her job. In addition to individual peer support, Laura has started a monthly Peer Recovery Group. Prior to working with PQ ACTT, Laura worked as an addictions counsellor and an Outreach Worker.

Participants explore the five stages in recovery from a psychological injury or trauma. Being aware there is a recovery framework validates the concept of mental health and wellness. Participants will utilize the five stages as a self-management tool to support their mental health and wellness. Participants will take away skills and techniques to support themselves and others to foster mental well-being.

PRESENTER: Mandi J. Buckner | Mandi J. Bruckner Consulting

Mandi Buckner is a Workplace and Peer Consultant specializing in the field of Mental Health. Mandi became the first Certified Peer Specialist in Ontario trained through the Georgia Department of Human Resources in the USA, attained a certification in Adult Education and became a CMHA Psychological Health & Safety Workplace Advisor. She has been involved in various mental health initiatives, and developed mental health courses at Sheridan College.

PAIL Network is a provincially funded organization in Ontario with a mandate to provide support to families and education to health care providers. PAIL Network’s Peer Support Volunteers play a vital role in offering unique support to bereaved families. Talking to someone who shares a lived experience of the loss of their pregnancy or death of their baby provides families with a type of support that has been found to decrease isolation and provide families with a much needed connection.

PRESENTER: Amy Muhr | Pregnancy and Infant Loss (PAIL) Network

Amy Muhr is the Volunteer Resource and Support Coordinator for Pregnancy and Infant Loss (PAIL) Network. Amy brings more than 10 years of experience working with volunteers in various capacities to her current role of coordinating over 100 peer support volunteers across Ontario. She is devoted to fostering a supportive program for all volunteers who share their heart and time with families who are grieving the loss of their pregnancy or death of their baby. Amy enjoys a rural life with her husband and 2 young children who, every day, remind her that the secret to having it all is knowing that you already do.

The Mental Health Commission of Canada, and The BC Centre for Excellence in Women Health, have identified peer support as essential for recovery. This poster presentation will describe the evaluation of peer support groups in the context of a hospital based women’s mental health service.

Findings indicate that women reported high levels of satisfaction, and significantly higher mean scores for recovery following participation in peer support groups.

PRESENTERS: Anita Manley and Glenda O’Hara | The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre

Anita Manley is a trained peer facilitator, and passionate mental health advocate. She was instrumental in developing peer support in Women’s Mental Health at The Royal. Anita shares her story of recovery with many audiences. She is an active member of advisory groups at the local and provincial levels. Anita is the recipient of The Royal’s 2015 Inspiration Award.”

Glenda O’Hara is the Vice-Chair of the Client Advisory Council and editor of the council’s newsletter The Client’s Voice at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Care Centre. After benefiting from programs at the Resource Centre for Women, she trained as a facilitator and helps run several program there. She shares her story of hope with her group members, family groups, staff and the public.

This paper presentation will report on the recent validation of a psychometric scale developed organically within a CSI in Nothern Ontario. The presenter will discuss how the 3B Scale (Being, Belonging, Becoming) was developed, the recent validation and completion of the scale, and its possible uses for other CSIs and Peer programs.

PRESENTER: Martin Boucher | NISA, Northern Initiative for Social Action

Martin Boucher is a consumer-survivor from New Brunswick currently working and studying in Northern Ontario. He is the coordinator of a regional warm line, a peer-supporter, peer trainer, WRAP facilitator, mental health advocate, and a graduate student in critical disability studies.

This presentation will be delivered by peers working within CMHA Vancouver-Fraser’s Peer Navigator program. Peer Navigation is unique to mental health and includes building the capacity of individuals to navigate health, income, legal, housing, and community connections systems. The presentation will open with an overview of the Peer Navigator program as an example of a service that focuses on self-advocacy.

PRESENTER: Sarah Irving | CMHA Vancouver-Fraser Branch

Magnolia House offers a clinical peer support (PS) program to adults in crisis. Anecdotal evidence for the meaningful impact of PS on patient recovery prompted a program evaluation to justify expansion of PS in acute care. However, measuring personal recovery as a direct outcome from PS has been challenging. Recognizing the importance of context, we developed a framework to capture the impact of PS on personal recovery using an integrated theoretical approach.

PRESENTERS: Courtney Devane and Daina Baldwin | Magnolia House

Courtney Devane, RN, MN, is a PhD student in the School of Nursing at the University of British Columbia. Courtney brings clinical expertise from the acute mental health setting and experience in two programs of research focused on optimizing health outcomes for Canadians through collaborative, mental health strategies. Under the supervision of Dr. Emily Jenkins and Dr. Geertje Boschma, Courtney aims to contribute to the evidence base informing peer support in acute mental health settings to enhance clients’ mental health outcomes.

Daina Baldwin is a Peer Support Assistant with Vancouver Coastal Health and a Peer Facilitator with the Canadian Mental Health Association. Daina began her career in Peer Support by taking the Sea to Sky Peer Support Training, with Debbie Sesula and Mary-Jane Moore. Daina completed her practicum and found employment at Magnolia House, a mental health and addictions crisis service where Daina herself was once a client.

A present day snapshot of challenges and system gaps peer workers face on clinical ACT Teams in Toronto. Future visioning of the role of an ACT peer support worker, supports required, and action steps towards establishing a harmonized ACT Team.

PRESENTER: Melissa Corcoran | St Joseph’s Health Centre, Toronto

Melissa Corcoran BSc MEd (candidate)

I strive to create inclusive spaces and encourage self-empowerment through compassionate exploration and self-care practices. My passions involve co-creating supportive communities and learning various forms of communication of the body, mind, and emotions. I trust in a holistic approach to wellness, inclusive of a continuum of perspectives, to navigate human suffering and challenges.

I am the first PSW for Alberta Health Services that specializes in substance use disorders in a hospital setting. Along with my emotional support based on my own lived experience with substance use and my own ongoing journey of recovery, I also provide patients and staff various supports.

PRESENTER: Robert Gurney | Addiction Recovery and Community Health (ARCH) – Inner City Health and Wellness Program

Robert “Rob” Gurney grew up on the Montreal Lake Cree Nation. Neglected and mistreated, he was later adopted. By his 20s, he was homeless, drinking and injecting drugs. He lived on the streets of Edmonton for about 10 years, having no contact with his family. Then one day five years ago, he decided to stop and help others by sharing his recovery journey

This poster presentation chronicles the journey of creating, developing and facilitating peer support groups for Voice Hearers and individuals who experience Alternate forms of Reality. These groups offer an innovative and creative approach to manage and lessen the intensity of Vexing Voices or distressing Alternate Reality experiences. Together we explore key concepts requires to create, develop and facilitate these groups within your own community and/or strategies that could be utilized when offering one-on-one support. Evaluation through use of PROM (Personal Recovery Outcome Measure) has been adopted and preliminary results tallied. This information locates participants within their Recovery Journey which in turn informs content for future groups.

PRESENTER: Jodie GrigsbyCMHA Peel

  • Lived experience
  • B.A./B.S.W. graduate from McMaster University with Honours; Social Service Worker Diploma from Mohawk College
  • 9 years front line experience; one year supervisory experience
  • Community Support Worker – Central Intake/Central Intake Resource Centre with CMHA Peel 2014 – present
  • Co-facilitator of peer based group Hearing Voices and Creator/Lead Facilitator of Alternate Realities”

Severe mental illness with psychotic symptoms (SMI) are a public health issue. Those afflicted with SMI, including caregivers, struggle to seek timely and relevant support. Findings from two community-based studies will demonstrate the need for peer-to-peer programming for SMI in Canada. Moreover, key components and steps for developing an online peer navigation platform for youth with SMI and their caregivers will be discussed.

PRESENTERS: Clayo Laanemets | Youth Advisory Council of/and Schizophrenia Society of Ontario; University of Toronto- Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (IHPME)

Clayo Laanemets is a graduate from the University of Toronto, with a Masters of Public Health in Health Promotion. She is the Principal Investigator of the ConnectingMINDS platform and the Research and Knowledge Translation Lead within the Youth Advisory Council at the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario. Clayo is also a caregiver to a family member with a serious mental illness.

This research identifies the recovery outcomes of individuals who participated in peer support groups in a peer-led setting. A framework for measuring recovery outcomes and results from 4 years of data collection from over 700 anonymous surveys will be presented.

PRESENTER: Kelly Philips | CMHA Waterloo Wellington

Kelly Philips is the Manager of Self Help Services at CMHA Waterloo Wellington. Keely works to expand the presence of peer support throughout the local system and undertakes research related to strengthening the practices and integrity of peer support. In her work, Keely draws from her lived experience of mental health issues in addition to experiences as a researcher and peer worker.

The Speaking Your Language training fills the unmet need of addressing mental health in a culturally sensitive way. The training was delivered to International Peer Mentors at Wilfrid Laurier University. The findings from the evaluation show that the training serves as a guide that prepares to (1) recognize mental health issues, (2) engage with and (3) support international students, who may be experiencing personal challenges.

PRESENTER: Andriana Vinnitchok | Wilfrid Laurier University

Andriana Vinnitchok is a senior BA Psychology student at Wilfrid Laurier University, who has been pursuing community-based mental health research for the past 3 years. She is passionate about working with community organizations to conduct meaningful and practically-relevant research that contributes to our understanding of mental health and wellbeing.

In Calgary Alberta Health Services and CMHA Calgary work together to share evaluation and data collection methods. Our evaluation proves Peer Supporters have more impact with the people they connect with and connect more quickly with the clinical teams they work within with formal peer support training. Findings from two evaluations completed by Alberta Health Services, CMHA Calgary and Habitus Consulting Collective are presented. Explore how graduates of CMHA Calgary’s ‘School of Peer Support’ have used their new found knowledge and skills to become change agents and disruptors for primary care in mental health and addiction.

PRESENTER: Callum Ross | CMHA Calgary

Callum Ross working with the Canadian Mental Health Association Calgary as Policy and Advocacy Lead and as Co-Chair of the Calgary Council for Addiction and Mental Health, Callum leads mental health and addiction initiatives and innovations. His role is to support collaboration within the sector that meets the emerging challenges related to needs of Calgarians living with mental health and addiction challenges.

Evaluation is important to improve peer support programs. However, the diversity of peer support programs makes it challenging to systematically measure peer support processes and outcomes. We will present a reflection about methodological innovations to measure peer support in a way that is consistent with its principles and values.

PRESENTER: Dr. Simon Coulombe | Wilfrid University

Dr. Coulombe is Assistant Professor at Wilfrid Laurier University. His research uses positive psychology methods in order to examine the individual, organizational and societal conditions that promote positive mental health of diverse communities, including people living with mental health issues. He is the leading academic researcher on a national study exploring the factors underlying promising mental health peer support practices

This poster presentation chronicles the journey of creating an innovative validated tool for the fidelity of peer support roles in the mental health and addictions/substance use system. The Centre for Innovation in Peer Support took on the intense work of developing a new validated tool aligning the values of peer support. This will help others understand the rigor needed regarding the methodology/process to develop a validated tool ensuring people with lived experience were foundational to its creation.

PRESENTERS: Christina Jabalee and Betty-Lou Kristy | Centre for Innovation in Peer Support

Christina Jabalee, Peer Support Systems Lead for Our Beautiful Minds: Centre for Innovation in Peer Support in the Mississauga Halton Region. Christina brings her personal experience in the field of mental health/addictions/substance use through her family experience as a caregiver and navigating her own wellness. She completed her Bachelor of Social work degree and began presenting on her personal/family story to MPP’s, the All Party Select committee on mental health and addictions and in numerous newspaper articles. She has worked in the Mississauga Halton region for over 8 years facilitating family support groups, peer support groups, trainings, regional planning tables/committees and has presented 100’s of times to high school students and police officers, where she highlights the need for a human approach to health care, where we recognize we are all in this together.

Betty-Lou Kristy, is the Peer Support Substance Use (Provincial) Systems Lead for, Our Beautiful Minds: Centre for Innovation in Peer Support. She is a bereaved mother, in recovery for 18 years from alcohol/multi-drug addictions, trauma and mental health issues. Betty-Lou lost Pete, her 25-year-old son with concurrent disorders to an accidental opioid overdose in 2001. Betty-Lou has spent the last decade as a provincial system-level, lived experience/family – advisor, educator, and advocate – helping to frame policy, governance, and programming. She also provides peer support and outreach at the community level. Previous to this journey her background was in corporate marketing. She received the 2009 Transforming Lives Award from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), and the 2012/13 ACE (Achievement, Commitment and Excellence) Award –Partner Relations category – from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, for her work with Expert Advisory Narcotics

This poster presentation showcases the Constellation Governance structure that the Centre for Innovation in Peer Support works within. The Centre used the foundational report of Health Canada’s Drug Treatment Funding Program’s (DTFP) Best Practices in Peer Support led by Addictions & Mental Health Ontario (AMHO 2014) to begin to form this structure in 2015 when beginning their work. This governance structure supports a shared sense of purpose around the implementation and integration of peer work, recognizing it is part of social change and working within a complex and dynamic healthcare system.

PRESENTERS: Christina Jabalee and Betty-Lou Kristy | Governance/Relationship Structure of the Centre for Innovation in Peer Support

Christina Jabalee, Peer Support Systems Lead for Our Beautiful Minds: Centre for Innovation in Peer Support in the Mississauga Halton Region. Christina brings her personal experience in the field of mental health/addictions/substance use through her family experience as a caregiver and navigating her own wellness. She completed her Bachelor of Social work degree and began presenting on her personal/family story to MPP’s, the All Party Select committee on mental health and addictions and in numerous newspaper articles. She has worked in the Mississauga Halton region for over 8 years facilitating family support groups, peer support groups, trainings, regional planning tables/committees and has presented 100’s of times to high school students and police officers, where she highlights the need for a human approach to health care, where we recognize we are all in this together.

Betty-Lou Kristy, is the Peer Support Substance Use (Provincial) Systems Lead for, Our Beautiful Minds: Centre for Innovation in Peer Support. She is a bereaved mother, in recovery for 18 years from alcohol/multi-drug addictions, trauma and mental health issues. Betty-Lou lost Pete, her 25-year-old son with concurrent disorders to an accidental opioid overdose in 2001. Betty-Lou has spent the last decade as a provincial system-level, lived experience/family – advisor, educator, and advocate – helping to frame policy, governance, and programming. She also provides peer support and outreach at the community level. Previous to this journey her background was in corporate marketing. She received the 2009 Transforming Lives Award from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), and the 2012/13 ACE (Achievement, Commitment and Excellence) Award –Partner Relations category – from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, for her work with Expert Advisory Narcotics

Poster Description: Review of literature suggests that peer support is one of the most important aspects in mitigating psychological stress injury in the workplace. However, barriers such as isolation, time and confidentiality may prevent employees from seeking support beyond reaching out to one or two trusted coworkers. Research suggests that the Take’N 5 guide can be a useful tool to address these barriers and be a useful compliment to existing formal peer mentor programs

PRESENTER: Dr. Jo-Ann Vis (PhD) | Lakehead University

Dr. Jo-Ann Vis (PhD) is an associate professor with the School of Social Work at Lakehead University. Dr. Vis’s areas of teaching and research are qualitative research methods, organizational health and development, trauma and clinical social work practice.

Peer support workers typically shoulder the responsibility of educating clinical staff about the nature of their work and navigating boundaries of responsibilities. Successful peer support worker integration in clinical settings requires a thoughtful and staged implementation approach by managers that attends to contextual considerations. This poster presents a conceptual framework of factors at the individual, hospital/care team, organizational, LHIN and provincial policy levels as well as promising change management approaches to support peer support integration.

PRESENTER: Jenn Green | McMaster University

What is a Community of Practice?
A Community of Practice is a group of people who have a common interest, and wish to learn and share with others. Connecting with others sharing our passions can the best part of a conference. At the National Conference on Peer Support we have created a space for peer supporters and champions to connect with those doing similar work, learn, share promising practices, identity areas for collaboration, and more. We are hosting several Community of Practice “Meet Ups” on the Sunday evening:
  • COP1: Youth Peer Supporters
  • COP2: Peer Support in the Workplace
  • COP3: Family Peer Support
  • COP4: Peer Support and First Responders/Fire Fighters/Police/Vets
  • COP5: Research on Peer Support
  • COP6: Recovery College
  • COP7: Peer Support Mentors
These in person Meet Ups are designed to be informal gatherings with a simple agenda:
  • Connect with others in your specific area of interest
  • Learn about the work of others
  • Share what you are passionate about
  • Explore how you want to stay connected and continue the conversations
Peer Support Canada will support logistics moving forward (hosting virtual meetings, creating a dedicated online portal, etc.)