We have partnered with The Sexual Assault Support center of Ottawa to receive training in order to provide peer support. Ottawa has been utilizing the peer support model for 36 years and we are so excited to have their guidance and training in order to offer this service.
S.T.A.N.D. offers up to 18- 1 hour weekly peer support sessions via phone to women over the age of 16.
A peer support worker with a shared lived experience can offer a unique perspective and a more equal and empowering recovery-oriented relationship.
Peer support is not based on psychiatric models or diagnostic criteria. It is about understanding another’s situation empathically through the shared experience of emotional and psychological pain. Hope is the starting point from which a journey of recovery must begin, and peer support workers can inspire hope and demonstrate the possibility of recovery.
Peer support provides a sense of empowerment and can help a person gain control over their journey and improve their quality of life. A peer who interacts with a peer support worker will not only feel empathy and connect, this interaction also fosters hope of recovery and creates a community of support, so no survivor feels alone.
Empowering relationships, engagement in meaningful activities and an ability to experience happiness are all part of recovery. The peer support worker supports the survivor as they find their inner knowledge and reignite that hopeful desire to heal. The empowerment that results from a greater sense of hope and kinship is supported by studies showing that the most powerful themes in recovery are people’s own personal resourcefulness and relationships that reinforce their belief in themselves.
A strong sense of connectivity and empowerment can result from hearing, “I have been there and I found my way and I believe you can too.”
When a person feels that they are truly accepted by another as they are, they are freed to move forward and begin to think about how they want to change, how they want to grow, and how they can become more of what they are capable of being. This approach allows survivors to explore possibilities and find their own path towards a happier outcome.
Providing a safe opportunity for a survivor to talk about what happened to them can be validating and healing. It can also help to ensure that the causes of psychological distress are not overlooked. Recovery does not follow a straight line – it is different for everyone. Peer support begins the process by inspiring hope, validation, and empowerment. There is healing in telling. There is healing in being believed. There is healing in knowing you are not alone.
S.T.A.N.D. IS RUN BY SURVIVORS FOR SURVIVORS