Workplace Peer Support
Robyn Priest LIVE YOUR TRUTH (RPLYT) provides consulting services and workplace peer support training options to support and promote the wellbeing of your employees and your business. We encourage employers to recognize the importance of addressing mental health in the workplace and look at a peer support option to be included in their company’s wellness plan.
RPLYT works with many small, medium and large size companies supporting the development of their employee peer support programs.
What is Peer Support?
“Peer support is a safe place for an employee who is struggling to speak with someone who has experienced a similar issue. The role of the Peer Supporter is to encourage the individual to reach out for effective help and promote hope, empowerment and recovery.”
Source: Workplace Strategies for Mental Health
Why Invest in Peer Support?
Canada has been engaging in significant development of peer support options in workplaces. According to Workplace Strategies for Mental Health, in Canada, more and more workplaces are realizing the value and benefits. The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) in their Making the Case for Peer Support Report (O'Hagan & al, 2010), has shown that peer support helps alleviates stigma and fosters healthier coping strategies. When people connect with someone who has dealt with similar issues the connection occurs as more valuable and relevant. Some examples of workplace peer support include the RCMP, some EMS services and police forces, Ontario Law Society; to name a few.
Lyne Wilson, Director, Talent Acquisition and Organizational Health at NAV CANADA, said that conversations about mental health at work have definitely advanced. "Before, there were employees who were struggling and some didn't know where to turn, creating frustration. Now we're seeing employees seeking support and those who had been struggling progress through their careers and it's very satisfying."
While there are many reasons this has evolved, Wilson credits peer support as one way of making it safer for employees to get support. “We weren't talking about it and now we are, through initiatives such as peer support where employees and managers can learn through the experiences of others who have had mental health issues and been able to work through it,” she said.
The Workplace Strategies for Mental Health described the general benefits of peer support in the workplace as including:
Increasing manager comfort in addressing employee issues through the assistance of a Peer Supporter
Providing a cost-effective approach to help promote and sustain a culture of wellness
Addressing issues such as denial, shame, or secrecy about mental health problems by providing non-judgmental support for employees who are struggling
Creating an antidote to isolation and a beacon of hope that professional medical treatment alone may not offer
Overcoming obstacles to sustaining productivity during times of mental health challenges
Removing barriers to inclusion for employees with mental health issues
Helping to reduce absenteeism and disability through early identification and access to helpful resources
Potentially, increasing effective usage of employee assistance programs because users may reach out for help earlier
Improving employee morale through recognition that their employer cares about their well-being
Increasing employee retention and engagement
RPLYT has a two (2) day workplace peer support training program. We offer this option or one that we customize our training to your business. This includes customized scenarios specific to your industry, or it can be custom built to meet the needs of your organization and your employees.
All materials are designed and delivered to address all learning styles by teaching people through auditory, visual, and kinesthetic means. This may involve the use of a combination of interactive exercises, games, role plays, videos, PowerPoint, and a participant workbook, or handouts.
Throughout all training materials developed, there is a strong emphasis on ensuring the incorporation of:
The Peer Support Canada Knowledge Matrix requirements related to peer support delivery,
The Mental Health Commission of Canada’s (MHCC) peer support values (as outlined in the Guidelines for the Practice and Training of Peer Supporters),
The principles of trauma informed support; and
Related components of the MHCC National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety.
The training topics include:
Introductions/Course Overview/Goals & Objectives
Peer Support History, Definitions & Fundamentals
Communication and Preferred Communication Styles
Connecting Through Your Experiences
Diversity, World View & Unconscious Biases
Stages of Change
Supporting with Understanding
Ethics & Boundaries
For more information about our services and what peer support could look like in your company, please reach out to us to have a chat.
These testimonials are a selection taken directly from the workplace peer support training evaluations.
“I feel that both Robyn & Charlotte have a unique way to deliver the material and can also keep everything on topic, it was great sessions, keep up the great work.”
Peer Support Systems for Organizations and Workplaces
RPLYT is the leader in peer support implementation in workplaces and organizations. Please reach out if you are interested in what peer support will look like in your world. We specialize in customizing peer support into workplaces and organizations to fit your needs. We are always up for a conversation about what that might look like.
Some of our Raving Fans started with a chat.
Curious if peer support is right for you? Please reach out.