Mindful Peer Leadership Pilot Program

With local social service agencies, we deliver free mindfulness-based mental health services. The Mindful Peer Leadership pilot program will train and mentor clients of five social service agencies to facilitate weekly mindfulness drop-in groups for their peers. These clients will take on leadership roles, and each client we train will bring mindfulness to many of their peers, hopefully for years to come.

The project makes mental health a community matter in Toronto: for the community, with the community, and by the community. We’re bringing mental health into communities by partnering with agencies and empowering peer leaders. Training peer leaders in mindfulness for mental health has a ripple effect in making a community more mindful and healthful.

This pilot project extends our work in pushing mental health treatment firmly into the community, through close integration and empowerment of community members themselves. It extends our strategy of integrating awareness and treatment capabilities into the DNA of social service agencies.

We will recruit and train peer members of partner agencies in Parkdale, Regent Park, and South Riverdale to lead mindfulness support groups that will provide mental health support services to agency clients on an ongoing basis; thereby leveraging the power and resourcefulness of community members, and extending the availability and accessibility of mental health support services.

The Mindful Peer Leadership Program includes two components:

  1. A Train-the-Peer Trainee Program where peers participate in an 8-week mindfulness-based mental health treatment program and four days of training on mindfulness interventions and facilitating a mindfulness drop-in program;
  1. A Training Practicum where peers, alongside the Centre’s faculty and agency staff, facilitate a weekly mindfulness drop-in program for agency clients and members. Peers will also assist the Centre’s faculty and agency staff through the delivery of an 8-week mindfulness-based mental health treatment program for agency clients.

We are piloting this program with the following partner agencies:

The program will run from January to November 2017.

At the end of the project, 15 peer leaders will be equipped to support mindfulness drop-in sessions with front-line agency staff, who The Centre trained in previous projects.

This project has been made possible by:

If you wish to support our work, you can donate here.

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