What is Peer Support?
Peer support is a chance to connect with another young person who’s had their own experiences navigating mental health or substance use challenges. Peer support workers are there to listen to you about any struggle or challenge you may be experiencing. They’re not doctors or counsellors, their expertise comes from life experience, which can help if you’re feeling nervous or unsure about getting in touch with a service provider.
Peer support workers can’t diagnose or treat mental health challenges, and shouldn’t be used as a replacement for health professionals (such as doctors, counsellors, psychologists or social workers). They can offer non-judgemental support, understanding, and help with navigating the system and finding services and resources.
Mood Disorders Association (MDA) BCadd
An MDABC peer-led support group is a safe place to share your story, your struggles and accomplishments, and to listen to others as they share similar concerns. At an MDABC support group you can get a sense of belonging, informal education about your mental health challenges, and the support of others who have ‘been there‘. Support groups are facilitated by trained volunteers with lived experience of mental health concerns.
Please Note: Support groups are for young people age 19+ and are not intended to provide counselling/therapy.
Some middle schools, secondary schools, universities and colleges have peer support workers and groups who are there to help you with any problem or challenge you might be having. You may want to ask a teacher, school counsellor, professor or someone else at your school about what’s available.