A program that is by peers, for peers, will expand reach for those in need of mental health support. (Pexels)

A program that is by peers, for peers, will expand reach for those in need of mental health support. (Pexels)

Victoria peer-led program provides training to improve quality of mental health services

Curriculum covers a wide range of topics, including family peer support and substance use

Training resources to improve the quality of mental health and substance-use services are now available through a program that creates greater access to support.

The province provided $1 million to BCcampus in 2019 to develop Where We Are At, a provincial peer support worker training curriculum and standards of practice, which covers a wide range of topics and is provided by peers, for peers.

Offered in the training program are 16 modules, an employers’ guide and links to several educational resources that can’t be found anywhere else. Among the topics covered are cultural humility, family peer support and substance use.

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Peer support workers are essential due to their capacity to relate deeply to those in need – as peers they, too, have suffered from substance use and mental health challenges.

“Connection and empathy offered by someone who has been through a similar experience is essential for mental health, harm reduction and recovery,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions.

These supports are delivered in such venues as correctional centres, post-secondary institutions, overdose prevention sites, hospitals and more. The curriculum is available for anyone in B.C. to take or deliver; find it online at peerconnectbc.ca.


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mental healthProvincial Government