Communitas Supportive Care Society has launched a new peer-support website, a comprehensive site that puts mental-health resources as close as the click of a mouse.
The effectiveness of peer support lies in its simplicity: People with lived experience of mental-health challenges support others on the journey towards mental wellness. Peer-support workers (PSWs) truly understand the people they serve.
Adrianne Roberts has been a PSW with Communitas for nearly four years. She sees the difference that such a simple connection can make in people’s lives. It can be the first time that people feel they have been heard.
“My favourite part of Peer Support is when the people we serve open up and share their struggles and where their journey has taken them,” she says. “There’s a lot of empathy in our work.”
Behind this simple formula is a wealth of resources. Communitas has been offering “Peer Support” since 1998, and has worked with Fraser Health to standardize services, training, PSWs, developing recovery peer-support training, and delivering and providing training in its Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP©).
Communitas is now the sole provider of Peer Support services for the entire Fraser Health region.
Jacqui Toews, program director for Communitas, says that being asked to expand its services in this way was an affirmation. “It is a reflection of the good work that our PSWs and our managers have been doing over the years,” she says.
With this growth came the need for a consolidated space for delivery of information and resources. The new website was the brainchild of Patrick Raymond, coordinator of Peer Support for the Fraser Health region. He felt that there needed to be one place where people could access information about one-to-one support and WRAP, and access a variety of groups, as well as training opportunities.
“The website is for anyone who is interested in recovery,” he says, adding that he is grateful for all the PSWs who have helped to bring these services together under one umbrella. “I believe we are stronger and better for it,” he says. “As one big team with a common purpose and a standard practice, we are able to deliver Peer Support services across the region. This is better for both our PSWs and for the people we serve.”
To learn more, visit peersupportcsc.com. Communitas Supportive Care Society is a faith-based, registered charity providing care in communities across British Columbia to those living with developmental disabilities, mental-health challenges and acquired brain injury.