“It was so good to speak with you [Youth Peer Support Worker]. I felt you really cared and understood my struggle. I cannot thank you enough. I will look into the resources you recommended. I really appreciate your time and empathetic ear.” – BC Youth
What is Peer Support?
Peer support is peers helping peers. It is based on the belief that those who have experienced challenges can provide support, encouragement, hope and mentorship to others facing similar situations, encouraging them to continue their healing.
Peer Support Workers Offer
- non-judgmental support and understanding
- help with navigating the health care system
- help finding services and resources
Peer Support at Foundry
Who Can Access Foundry Peer Support?
- peer support is available for any young person in BC between the ages of 12-24.
- we also offer family peer support for parents/caregivers of young people in BC.
Where Can I Access Foundry Peer Support?
At a Foundry Centre
Peer support can be accessed through Foundry centres across BC. Connect with your local centre to learn more.Find a Foundry Centre near you
Through the Foundry BC App
If you do not have a Foundry centre in your community, our provincial virtual services offer peer support to youth anywhere in BC.Learn more about accessing services virtually
Peer support has always been a part of our human history, as we raise and support each other in shared experiences.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can peer supporters help with?add
- Connecting with and answering questions for young people and families in waiting rooms
- Helping young people and families find services and resources they need, at Foundry or in their community
- Providing one-on-one non-clinical emotional and social support
- Facilitating and bridging connections in meetings between families and service providers
- Assisting young people and families with community resources and attending appointments
- Co-facilitating health and wellness groups
- Supporting young people and families in advocating for their own needs
- Leading or co-facilitating education sessions
- Providing Take Home Naloxone Training
- Offering harm reduction education and supplies
How much does it cost to access Foundry peer support?add
- Accessing peer support is FREE of charge, along with all other Foundry services.
What makes peer support at Foundry different?add
At Foundry, we see peer support as a way to connect with young people and families who are accessing our services. We support them in their journey to understand and engage with their lives in a way that supports their health, well-being and autonomy.
Foundry peer support works alongside other services to enhance and support care. Every service provider brings expertise to their role at a Foundry centre. For Peer Support Workers, this is our ability to connect with peers in a way that reduces the power dynamic found in a lot of health services, where service providers are seen as having all the authority and expertise. The power of peer support lies in connection and the bonds of shared experiences.
How is peer support different from counselling?add
Peer support provides the chance to connect with another young person who’s there to listen to you about any struggle or challenge you may be experiencing. Peer supporters have their own unique lived experiences of mental health or substance use challenges. They are able to draw upon these experiences to listen to you about any struggle or challenge you may be experiencing.
BODY IMAGE AND DISORDERED EATING PEER SUPPORTadd
The Looking Glass Foundation offers free, regularly scheduled, real time Online Peer Support to people of age 14 and older across Canada who are experiencing disordered eating, weight or body image issues.
Overseen by a trained Looking Glass Moderator, each chat session offers a safe and confidential virtual space for people to talk about what is going on for them, to share experiences, and to benefit from the empathy and understanding of others who get what it can be like to struggle with this challenge.
*Binge Eating OPS Chat: takes place on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month. Open to individuals wishing to receive support related to bingeing behaviours, and the thoughts and feelings that accompany them.
MOOD DISORDERS ASSOCIATION PEER SUPPORT GROUPSadd
Mood Disorder Association of BC (MDABC) has peer-led support groups for people ages 18 and older in the lower mainland, interior and Vancouver Island. It is a safe place to share your story, 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. MDABC
Please Note: Support groups are not intended to provide counselling/therapy.
TRANS CARE BC PEER SUPPORTadd
Trans Care BC provides support to peer-led initiatives, such as trans support groups and groups for parents/caregivers of gender diverse children and youth, through funding opportunities, networking opportunities, and peer project support and mentorship.
- Phone: Toll-free (BC): 1-866-999-1514
- Outside of BC or unable to call a toll-free number: 604-675-3647
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out about peer supports in your area in Trans Care BC’s service directory.
FAMILY/CAREGIVER PEER SUPPORTadd
Family Smart offers a Parent Peer Support group which provides emotional support, information, resources, and help in navigating services for parents & caregivers of a child, youth or young adult in BC with a mental health and/or substance use challenge.
Peer Support services are free and have no waitlist.
2SLGBTQIA+ PEER SUPPORTadd
QMUNITY is a non-profit organization based in Vancouver, BC that works to improve queer, trans, and Two-Spirit lives. They provide a safer space for 2SLGBTQIA+ people and their allies to fully self-express while feeling welcome and included. Check out their peer support groups for more information about how they can help you meet, share your experiences, or just have fun with others.
They also offer QCHAT which is a peer support line and resource database for 2SLGBTQ+ youth in BC.
PEER SUPPORT FOR INDIGENOUS WOMEN & WOMEN OF COLOURadd
Women connected to a network of women are more successful! The Support Network for Indigenous Women and Women of Colour (SNIWWOC) Peer Support Program provides one-on-one advocacy and support to racialized women, including transgender women and two-spirit community members, in Canada. Join their peer support program and say goodbye to isolation. They are building a tribe of inspiring women that will help you level up.
*If you need ongoing support, reach out to their community resource experts, who can assist with legal information, accompany you to appointments, help you find local resources, career planning advice, health/wellness, beauty/fashion, and other specialized information you need to thrive as a racialized woman.