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Training resources to improve quality of mental health and substance use services

Training resources to improve quality of mental health and substance use services

July 16, 2021 at 11:09 am  BC, News, Politics

Alison Kyte, regional project manager, peer co-ordinator, Interior Health –

“Interior Health and Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Kelowna collaborated as early adopters in piloting this new curriculum. The most compelling for me from the sessions was the confidence the Interior Health peer supporters gained as a result of being accepted, valued and recognized for their expertise. The curriculum empowered peer supporters by giving them a shared language based on core values of peer support. It strengthened vital skills like communication, relationship building and empathy. It filled us with hope.”

KC Pearcey, peer support worker and peer facilitator, Coast Mental Health –

“The Provincial Peer Support Worker Training Curriculum will enable anyone with lived and living experience to gain the necessary skills to become a qualified peer support worker. They will be able to serve their peers with empathy, compassion, authenticity and integrity, and have the knowledge to help a wide variety of people from diverse backgrounds. I found it really meaningful to be involved with this project, and I appreciate the opportunity to give back to my community of peers with lived and living experience.”

Dr. Regina Casey, instructor and psychosocial rehabilitation program co-ordinator, Douglas College

“Peer work has become recognized as an effective support for people in recovery with mental illness and/or substance use problems. This innovative and collaborative work is geared to build the skills and competencies of our peer workforce in British Columbia. The materials are free and easy to access, and therefore would be useful to colleges and universities that are interested in preparing students to join the workforce. No doubt, this work offers the ability to advance peer work in B.C. and, as such, could be a helpful addition to any college and or university curriculum.”

Keli Anderson, family peer support expert, president and CEO, FamilySmart –

“Peer support provided to me when my son was only 11 years old helped me to get up and keep going each day when my son was hospitalized in a psychiatric unit for an extended time. It inspired me to start an organization for other families of children and youth with mental health challenges. Twenty years later, I couldn’t be more excited to see that, finally, there is greater awareness, acceptance and now this amazing curriculum for peer support workers, developed with peer support workers. We have loved being part of this.”

Olivia Howard, peer program and practice lead, CMHA Kelowna –

“As an early adopter of the training curriculum in partnership with Interior Health, CMHA Kelowna was one of the first organizations to actually use the training. As a trainer, I loved working with the content, because core concepts were covered in wonderful detail, while still leaving room for me to be creative and make the content our own. Beyond the functionality of the curriculum, I loved working with it because it feels personal yet professional. I just want to thank everyone that worked on the curriculum because we managed to make crucial mental health and substance use content accessible, humble, vulnerable and full of compassion.”

Isaac Malmgren, manager of peer support services, Raincity Housing –

“As an organization committed to the inclusion of voices of lived experience in all levels of service delivery and decision making, RainCity Housing eagerly anticipates the release of the Provincial Peer Support Worker Training Curriculum. We see tremendous value and potential in this work as a tool for standard setting, skill development, stigma reduction and inclusion for workers with lived experience across the province, and look forward to using this curriculum as a training resource for our teams. Congratulations to all those involved, and a huge thank you to those who have shared their expertise and individual experience to make this work a reality.”

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