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 Two 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
- Introduction to Peer Support – Tuesday, September 1st – 1:30-3:00pm AST
Ever wondered what peer support is? Or thought you would like to use your lived experience to support others? Want to learn more about what peer support is….and what it isn’t, the different types of peer support as well as the skills it takes to be a good peer supporter? If so, then please join Peer Support Nova Scotia (PSNS) for their FREE Introduction to Peer Support webinar (hosted via Zoom).
Each interactive session will grant you the opportunity to learn more about peer support, interact with others and get your peer support questions answered.
- Virtual Peer Support Training – September 9 to October 14, 2020
Peer Support Nova Scotia 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 six weeks delivered through a webinar from September 9 to October 14, 2020; Wednesday afternoons 1-4pm AST. The week prior to each session, participants will be required to complete a set of readings and reflective exercises. These should not take longer than one hour to complete.
The next session dates are September 9 to October 14, 2020:
- Session 1: September 9 1-4pm AST
- Session 2: September 16 1-4pm AST
- Session 3: September 23 1-4pm AST
- Session 4: September 30 1-4pm AST
- Session 5: October 7 1-4pm AST
- Session 6: October 14 1-4pm AST
Those who are interested in participating in the training, please submit a completed application form to firstname.lastname@example.org by August 28, 2020. Contact email@example.com if you have any questions.
Access the application form here:
- Community of Practice Webinar – September 2, 2020 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
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, join our community of fellow Peer Supporters that you can learn from and rely on.
Free webinars are held 3-4 times per year and are intended to connect 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. Click here to register for our next session being held on Wed. Sep 2, 2020 10:30am to 12:00pm AST or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a registration link.
Active Peer Supporters are welcome to join our Community of Practice Facebook group: Peer Supporter Community of Practice – Nova Scotia.
If you are interested in learning more about Peer Support or how you can become a Peer Supporter please join our Community Sharing Facebook group: PSNS Community Sharing Space.