The ability to share a traumatic experience with others who are facing similar issues can play a significant role in recovery. Mental health prevention and awareness has typically been nonexistent among the first responder community. Mental health is just as important as physical health and many organizations are in the process of creating their own peer support programs. Peer support is a system of giving and receiving help founded on key principles of respect, shared responsibility, and confidentiality. Peer support is not based on psychiatric models and/or diagnostic criteria; it is about understanding another’s situation empathetically through the shared experience of emotional and psychological pain. This course will introduce you to the nature and value of peer support.
You will learn about the skills, abilities and attributes of a peer supporter and how to set up a peer support system within the guidelines stated by the Mental Health Commission of Canada. This course will also explore the differences between providing peer support and professional mental health care. Other topics will include the Code of Ethics including confidentiality, conflict of interest, multiple relations, respect for persons, and objectivity.