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Fall / Winter 2019

The Importance of Peer Support

Whether it’s chatting with a friend, thoughtful words from a colleague or simply being in the presence of others who share might share similar challenges, we know without a doubt that peers can help us learn, build our self-esteem and confidence, and provide us with a variety of different supports to help us function at our best. We all need support – we’re human after all.

In 2012, The Mental Health Commission of Canada released the Mental Health Strategy for Canada – “Changing Directions, Changing Lives”. It recognized the valuable role of peer support but also recognized the barriers – such supports can be difficult to access and are often under-funded. It also recognized that peer support is most effective in reducing stigma when it involves people who have lived the experience.

In Renfrew County, many social service organizations, including FCS, offer peer support programming and continue to evolve it because we know it works. We also work together to identify gaps and support awareness generating efforts so individuals and families across the county know about these programs.

In our Fall/Winter Newsletter, we highlight some of the peer support options available in Renfrew County. We not only encourage you to read about them, but reach out to us and our community partners to learn more about these supports.

Enjoy the read!

Kathy