Chapter Two: Our New Peer Support Training Program

Growing Into Ourselves

A white poster hung up on the street that says "Don't Forget How Far You've Come"

You’ve lived through some hard things, you turned the page, and now you want to help others do the same. Sound familiar? Then Chapter Two is for you.

Chapter Two is the Stella’s Place Peer Support Training Program. Comprehensive and free, our program helps individuals aged 18-29 build their personal peer support practice based on the pillars of compassion, cultural humility, mindfulness, and burnout reduction. 

Our training takes place twice a week over 4 months. Each training group has a maximum of 10 people each. It’s intensive, in-person, and intimate.

Criteria to Apply

Requirements

  • 18-29 years old
  • Living in the Greater Toronto Area
  • Able to commit to 8 hours per week to training over approximately 4 months
  • Lived experience with a mental health issue
  • At a point on your recovery journey where you can talk about and hear about mental health issues with a group of people you don’t know

About You

  • Have received peer support from friends or family, or someone you connected with in one of these spaces: school, community, drop-in program, work, volunteer, healthcare setting
  • Have the support and/or tools you need to self-regulate inside and outside the training, in the event you are activated or triggered during training
  • Passionate about peer support and/or social services
  • Would like to be in an attentive environment to speak about your experience as a member of a marginalized group
  • Want to contribute to a space where everyone is both a learner and a teacher

Applications are now open! The application period ends on December 9 at 11:59 PM Eastern time.

Apply now Link to page

A portrait of Chukuka from the waist up, smiling and wearing a cheetah print sweater and standing in front of a poster for the movie Moonlight.

Through my own lived experience, I have defined a lifelong goal; I want the experiences of people who look like me to be seen, believed, heard and understood. My journey through peer support has given me the skills, empathy and purpose to take on my goal every day.

 

Chukuka Ebuta, Senior Peer Ambassador

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Peer Support?

Peer support is a practice in which a person who has lived experience of mental health either themselves, as a family member, or a caretaker intentionally supports other people on their recovery journey.

What will I learn?

Lots! Here are just a few things:

  • The Spectrum of Mental Health
  • How to listen intentionally
  • Power, Privilege, and Oppression
  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Inclusion and Diversity
  • All the ins and outs of relationships with peers
  • How to lead with compassion
  • Career expectations
  • So much more, we can’t fit it all here!

What does it cost?

Nothing! The program is completely free.

In addition to the program being free of cost, we are providing a small monetary travel stipend to each participant. But wait! There’s more! We will also be serving morning snacks and a full lunch (not just pizza and sandwiches!) at each session.

How big is the program?

We accept a maximum of 10 learners per cohort and have an application process to be part of the program.

How long does it take?

Training takes 4 months in total: 

  • 3 months of theoretical training
  • 1 month of practical training

Training takes place twice a week, for 4 hours, including a 30 minute lunch-break. We will be providing breakfast snacks and a full lunch.

When will it take place?

  • Sessions are on Mondays and Thursdays from 10am to 2pm, starting on January 23.
  • We will be taking breaks from training on Feb 13, Feb 16; and March 27, March 30 to prevent burnout.
  • The last session is on Thursday April 27, 2023.

I have more questions. Who should I speak to?
Send your questions to Erica at ekelly@stellasplace.ca

The thing about having lived experience is that it often means going down a lot of wrong paths trying to find an expert who can help. And the thing about peer support is that it teaches you that you can stop searching: you are your strongest ally. You are the expert you’ve been looking for.

 

-Erica Ruth Kelly, Peer Initiatives Coordinator

A headshot of Erica, smiling and looking into the camera. The have a flowery shirt on, and long dark hair over one shoulder.