Living with chronic pain is more than a physical challenge. It can also impact a person’s mental health. It can be stressful, isolating and increase or lead to feelings of depression and anxiety.
Peer support groups offer compassion, understanding and validation by encouraging participants to share their experiences and draw comfort from being with others with lived experience.
The Canadian Mental Health Association Nova Scotia Division [CMHA NS] is looking for a compassionate, organized individual with lived experience with chronic pain and a mental health challenge to co-facilitate a weekly virtual peer support group for Nova Scotians who live with chronic pain. Examples of conditions that are chronic include Fibromyalgia, Multiple Sclerosis, a workplace injury, Endometriosis, Arthritis, among others.
The successful candidate will:
- Be comfortable with public speaking
- Have lived experience with chronic pain and a mental health challenge
- Be engaging and encouraging
- Have strong leadership and organizational skills
- Be willing to commit to the agreed upon schedule
IMPORTANT TO NOTE: Lived experience with chronic pain and a mental health challenge is necessary to lead this group, but a diagnosis is not required.
Role and Responsibilities
The Chronic Pain Peer Support Co-Facilitator will be responsible for guiding the group discussion and ensuring that it remains a safe and respectful space. There will be debriefings before and after each session and it may require communicating with members via email, notifying members of cancelled meetings, help with promotion of the group as well as assisting with resources for participants.
- Time Commitment: Approximately 3 hours per week for eight weeks beginning in January or February 2023. The exact start date will be determined once a co-facilitator is in place. An additional time commitment of 4 hours is required to complete training prior to the group’s launch.
- Training: The successful applicant will receive training that will empower them to run an effective, non-clinical support group with an emphasis on empathy and acceptance.
- Peer support facilitators and co-facilitators are provided with ongoing assistance from CMHA NS staff in running their groups. The training will be conducted over zoom and will be scheduled once a facilitator is in place with the goal of being completed before January 2023.]
- Materials Required: Access to reliable internet and technology for the facilitation of sessions.
- Compensation: An honorarium of $1,500 will be provided.
What you gain from this role:
Being a peer support group facilitator with CMHA NS is a big commitment but it is also a deeply rewarding one. Facilitators often build on their leadership and facilitation skills while building strong connections to their communities.
If this sounds like an opportunity you would be interested in, please send your resume and a cover letter in PDF format by December 2, 2022 by 5:00 p.m. to Keith Anderson, Provincial Lead, Peer Support and Community Suicide Prevention, CMHA NS at firstname.lastname@example.org or Amber Chinn, Project Coordinator and Administrator, CMHA NS at email@example.com
What is chronic pain: Sometimes pain does not go away. It can last for longer than six months. In fact, it can last for years. Chronic pain is pain that has become independent of the underlying injury or illness that started it all.
Chronic pain has two clear characteristics:
- Chronic pain lasts longer than six months.
- Chronic pain is pain that occurs in addition to the pain of the original health condition.