Peer Support Nova Scotia is a program conducted by Mental Health Innovations (Nova Scotia) on behalf of the Nova Scotia Health Authority.
A Commitment Made
The 2012 Mental Health and Addictions Strategy: Together We Can, reinforced the powerful impact peer support can have on a person’s recovery. The Nova Scotia Health Authority, and the IWK have moved forward with the expansion of mental health peer support at inpatient sites across the province.
A Peer Supporter is someone who uses their lived experience with mental health (either personally, or through supporting a loved one) to inspire hope and empower others in similar situations by providing social and emotional support.
Peer Support is connecting with another person who has lived experience of their own and can relate to what you are going through—this could be a divorce, a sick child, a difficult call, the list goes on. Social support is the proven foundation for success for people to find their path to health and wellness. However, Peer Support is not a replacement for professional medical or clinical care.
Note: Workplace programs differ from community or healthcare-based programs. They are commonly established and maintained within the organization. This helps with relate-ability and creation of understanding and trust.
Delivering peer support in Nova Scotia is based on a transition-focused model which is supported by evidence-based research, and validated in other Canadian healthcare settings. It draws a straight line from clinical inpatient sites, back into the community through the discharge process. The direct costs for provision of Peer Support can be offset by decreased (re)admission rates, and shortened hospital stays.
Peer Supporter-Peer Support Coordinators (PS-PSC)
Peer Support Nova Scotia employs peer supporters across the province with a dual focus.
- As a Peer Supporter, they directly support peers (clients) receiving NSHA mental healthcare services.
- As a Peer Support Coordinator, they look toward the community for a working relationship with organizations that are partnered to assist peers in transition after discharge.
DOWNLOAD: Peer Supporter One Pager (click here)
For the Community
Critical to the peer support model’s success is the ability to connect clients to peer supporters in the community. Building on the great work of caring organizations, Peer Support Nova Scotia is committed to building peer support capacity within the community through partnership opportunities as well as through the delivery of province-wide peer support training and community of practice webinars.
Upcoming Training and Webinar Dates
- Community of Practice Webinar – September 17, 2019 – 10 am to 12 pm AST
Are you a peer supporter? Would you like to connect with other peer supporters to discuss cases, best practices and learn new approaches to supporting peers? If so, please join Peer Support Nova Scotia for our upcoming “Community of Practice” webinar for peer supporters.
Being a peer supporter is rewarding and challenging work, often done in isolation of other peer supporters. Joining a community of practice helps to create a network of colleagues you can learn from and rely on. This webinar is intended for individuals who are working and/or volunteering as peer supporters with a focus on mental health and/or addictions with both youth and adult populations.
The webinar will be an interactive session with the opportunity for small group work as well as large group discussions. To ensure this community of practice session meets the needs of the group, please use the link below to connect to a short survey, which will take approximately 5 minutes to complete, to share with us what you would like to learn and discuss in these sessions. (Click here to complete the survey)
To register or to receive communications regarding upcoming sessions, please email email@example.com
- Virtual Peer Support Training – September 30 to November 18, 2019 – Monday evenings from 6 pm to 8 pm AST
Peer Support Nova Scotia, for the very first time, will be offering their popular Peer Support Training course online!
This course is designed for individuals who are interested in using their lived experience with mental health and/or addictions to provide emotional and social support to individuals who are on their own recovery journey. Participants need to be and have been in a positive state of recovery for an extended period of time.
Training will take place over a period of eight weeks, two weeks off due to Thanksgiving and Remembrance Day. There is a two-hour webinar on Monday evening from 6pm to 8pm AST. The week prior to each webinar participants will be required to complete a set of readings and reflective exercises. These should not take longer than two hours to complete.
The session dates are as follows:
- Module 1: Sept 30
- Module 2: Oct 7
- Module 3: Oct 21
- Module 4: Oct 28
- Module 5: Nov 4
- Module 6: Nov 18
Those who are interested in participating in the training, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for the application form to be filled out and signed by Sep 20, 2019.
Program Manager: Lauren Scott