Skip to content

Peer Support

What is Peer Support?

Peer support is a supportive relationship between people who have a lived experience in common” (Mental Health Commission of Canada, 2013). 

Peer supporters have actively encountered a mental health and/or substance use issue and intentionally share parts of their lived experience and recovery journey in their role as a volunteer or staff person. Through sharing lived experiences an authentic, empathetic relationship is created between the peer supporter and the person supported, providing connection and nurturing the hope necessary for recovery. Peer support is an evidence-based modality of support.

Peer support is based on the idea that people with first-hand experience of mental health challenges are uniquely equipped to help others find insight, resources, and hope. NISA’s peer support workers have “been there,” and know what it’s like.

NISA’s peer support is self-guided, culturally sensitive, and available in English and French. 

Core Values of Peer Support at NISA:

  • Self-Determination and Personal Strength

  • Mutuality

  • Hope

  • Recovery and Well-being

  • Honest and Transparent Relationships

  • Personal Integrity & Trust

  • Dignity & Respect

  • Lifelong Learning and Personal Growth

What Peer Support Services does NISA offer?

  • Peer Support Groups

    You’ll find peer support over a cup of coffee at NISA, but you can also find it in groups like our Sharing Circle or Cercle de partage en français, or in the Peer Support for the Supporter group. When we come together for support we realize that we are not alone. Even better, we learn that we can support someone else.

  • Peer Support for the Supporter

    Last Tuesday evening of the month, time may vary. This group is for anyone supporting, assisting and encouraging a loved one with mental health challenges or illness, and in need of some extra emotional support and understanding yourselves. Contact Kaitlyn for more info: or 705 -222-6472 x 316

  • One-to-One Peer Support Sessions

    When you want to figure out the next step in your recovery, or when you simply need someone to listen, NISA’s peer support workers are here for you to talk to, one-to-one.

Peer Support in the Community

Mental Health and Addictions Program – The Mental Health and Addictions Peer Support (MAPS) Program is a peer support service specifically for persons navigating the criminal justice system. For more info, click here.

Peer Support at Health Sciences North (HSN) – NISA offers Peer Navigators and Specialists at HSN who give peer support and guidance in the hospital setting to anyone experiencing mental health or addiction challenges.

Outreach Peer Support (OPS) – Our Outreach Peer Support team is working hard off-site offering peer support within the Sudbury Community in CMHA housing. 

Older Adult Peer Support (OAPS)

1.8 million older adults in Canada live with emotional or mental health challenges. Talking about it can help.

NISA’s Older Adult Peer Support Program offers free
emotional and mental health support on your own terms, where you’re at for folks aged 55 and up!