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CMHA NS Peer Support Programs

The Power of Peer Support

Living with a mental illness can make you feel isolated.

Peer support is emotional and practical support between two people who share a common experience, such as a mental health challenge or illness. CMHA NS is a leader in peer support in the province.

Our peer support groups are held in safe and respectful spaces, are confidential and accessible. CMHA NS offers two ongoing two core peer support groups, our Men’s Peer Support Group and Circle of Friends.

Throughout the year we offer peer support groups to targeted populations and partner with a range of community groups throughout the province to deliver these groups.

Past Peer Support Groups have included:

Our Peer Support Group Partners

About CMHA NS Peer Support Groups:

Interested in collaborating with CMHA NS to offer a peer support group?

Contact Keith Anderson | Provincial Lead, Peer Support and Community Suicide Prevention [CAST]

Email: [email protected]


Current Peer Support Groups

Youth Gathering Place | Cape Breton | In Person

This group runs for eight weeks beginning February 1, 2023 at 3:30 p.m.

For more information, contact Ryan Gould at [email protected]


Ongoing Peer Support Programs

CMHA NS Division runs two regular peer support groups. These groups are facilitated by CMHA NS employees and volunteers and take place in a virtual setting or in-person (based on COVID Safety protocol.)


Men’s Peer Support Group

Unrealistic expectations based on gender and a lack of suitable mental health options can prevent those who identify as men from honouring their mental health and reaching out for support when they need it. The Canadian Mental Health Association Nova Scotia Division is here to help.

Our virtual Men’s Peer Support group provides a safe, confidential space for those who identify as male to connect without judgement. Sessions are weekly. Newcomers are welcome!

Topics of discussion can include, but are not limited to:

  • Relationships
  • Family challenges
  • Employment challenges
  • Housing challenges
  • Food and music
mens peer support group image

Details: This program combines emotional support as well as practical information.

This group is:

What does non-clinical mean? Non-clinical services are therapeutic, but relate to providing resource information, education, screening, and support until a professional health care provider can make appropriate referrals (if necessary) to primary care or formalized health care services.

REGISTER for the Men’s Peer Support Group


Circle of Friends

About:

DID YOU KNOW connection is an important part of supporting our overall wellness. We are social beings and our well-being depends strongly on our connections with others.

Connections are important for overall mood enhancement and can help us through ‘blue’ periods as well as during times of isolation.

If you’d like to improve your communication skills and improve your ability to connect or just broaden your circle, join Circle of Friends!

circle of friends - rainbow hands in a circle

This guided peer support group will help you learn about yourself, what you say, the way you act, and how your actions can affect relationships with others. Focusing on these aspects, helps us gain confidence in our relationships and we will be more likely to achieve our friendship goals.

Details: This program combines emotional support as well as practical information.

This group is :

What does non-clinical mean? Non-clinical services are therapeutic, but relate to providing resource information, education, screening, and support until a professional health care provider can make appropriate referrals (if necessary) to primary care or formalized health care services.

REGISTER for Circle of Friends


Becoming a Peer Support Group Facilitator

CMHA NS Division periodically reaches out to communities seeking individuals with lived experience to help us offer a peer support group to a targeted population. These relationships are key to ensuring that CMHA is meeting the mental health needs of all Nova Scotians.  Facilitators are responsible for guiding a group with a focus on ensuring groups are a respectful and safe space to discuss mental health challenges.

What does a peer support group facilitator do?

Peer support group facilitators have lived through similar experience to those who attend the group, and is trained to support members of the group. Facilitators are responsible for guiding groups with a focus on ensuring groups are a respectful and safe space to discuss mental health challenges.

What we look for: 

What you gain from this role:  

Being a peer support group facilitator with CMHA NS is a big commitment but it’s also a deeply rewarding one. Facilitators often build on their leadership and facilitation skills while building strong connections to their communities. CMHA provides training, along with an honorarium.

Visit the News section of our website to view any current listings for a peer support group facilitator.

Questions?

Contact Keith Anderson at [email protected]

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