What is peer support?
Peer Support Workers are youth and caregivers who identify as having lived/living experience of mental health and/or substance use challenges, and/or supporting a youth with their mental health and/or substance use challenges. They utilize their experience as their expertise, along with peer support training, and help other young people and caregivers discover that they are their own expert as well. A peer supporter recognizes you as an expert in your own life and will work collaboratively with you on your goals. Family peer supporters help other caregivers find local/community resources, manage their own wellness, and support their youth.
The goal of peer support is to provide emotional support, acceptance, validation, and empathy regardless of circumstances. The focus is to ensure the person feels support in their recovery and healing. More importantly, peer supporters and family peer supporters ensure youth & their caregivers are receiving proper support, and are not left isolated.
While peer supporters have lived experience in a variety of areas, they are unable to make formal diagnoses for youth and caregivers. If you are looking for a mental health assessment or diagnosis, please book an appointment with a counsellor or nurse practitioner.
Are you a caregiver wanting to learn more about Foundry Virtual BC’s family peer support services? To learn more, check out this blog post from Shane, a family peer supporter.
What Peer Support Services are offered?
- One-On-One Services
You can connect one on one with a youth peer supporter or family peer supporter to chat about what’s going on for you or to learn more about Foundry’s virtual services. Youth peer support workers are young people with lived experience trained to walk alongside you in your wellness journey. Family peer support workers are individuals with lived experience supporting their youth with various mental health/substance use challenges. You do not need to see a counsellor to book a peer support or family peer support session.
- Peer Lead Groups
Foundry virtual also offers a number of youth groups and workshops and caregiver groups and workshops (some hosted by peer support workers!)
What can I expect when working with a Peer Support Worker?
- They will hold space and for you to talk about whatever is going on for you.
- They will provide encouragement around your goals and ambitions.
- With similar lived experience, youth peer support workers and family peer support workers will walk alongside you in your journey towards wellness.
- Youth peer support workers and family peer support workers empower you to find and strengthen your voice to advocate for yourself and the life you want to lead.
- The flexibility of peer support workers can also complement other treatments and support services. For example, if you’re seeing a counsellor, it may also be helpful to see a peer supporter worker at the same time.
- Navigating the healthcare system and learning about the many services available can be difficult. Peer support workers can help young people understand services and treatment available to them as well as help them advocate for themselves, their friends and their family.
- Family Peer Support Workers will listen, empathize, and guide you to local resources to support your youth.
- They will support you & remind you the importance of taking care of yourself, as a caregiver!
Have questions? To learn more about our services please call us at 1-833-F0UNDRY (with a Zero, not an O or 1-833-308-6379), send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org . Our Phone lines are open Monday to Sunday 1:15 to 7:15 pm.
A reminder that – this service is connected to our provincial virtual services, which are separate from Foundry centres. If you are interested in receiving in person supports, visit one of our Foundry centres,
Download the Foundry BC App
- Download on Google Play, or the App Store or the desktop version
- Register for your free account
- Connect to services
If internet access is a barrier, we are able to provide support by phone at 1-833-F0UNDRY (1-833-308-6379)
Please note the services offered through the Foundry BC app are distinct from our network of Foundry centres.
GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR CHAT
The Foundry clinician will let you know how much time you will have to chat with each other.
- Use a strong internet connection to avoid connection problems
- Stay focused on the chat and respond quickly
- Don’t try to do other things during the chat
- If you need to step away from the chat, let us know. Or end the chat and come back when you have more time.
- Sit in the most private place you can that’s also near your wifi router.
- If your wifi connection is weak, choose an audio or messaging based conversation
- Download the Microsoft Teams app ahead of time
- When booking your appointment, have your personal health number ready. It’s on the back of your BC services card.
It’s normal to feel nervous when you use a service for the first time. The more information that you can give us, the more we will be able to help you.
- if you’re not sure what you want to work on
- if you’re in crisis or worried about your safety
- if you have connections to a family doctor or other health professionals
- if you have concerns about getting help online
- if you don’t understand something the Foundry clinician is saying
- if the place or setting you are in might affect your session