Peer Support Program
MAX’s new mental health program can help address your needs, particularly in a time of physical distancing.
The Peer Support Program is part of both the organization’s ongoing commitment to maximizing health and wellness for guys into guys and its greater response to current physical distancing practices.
What is Peer Support?
Peer support is “a supportive relationship between people who have a lived experience in common.” Peer support is not psychotherapy or counselling; it’s using our common identities, our compassion, and our active listening skills for support. We can offer peer support if you are feeling unwell or distressed.
Peer support is not crisis support. See bottom of the page for crisis support resources.
Examples of topics the Peer Support Program can help with:
Feeling socially isolated
Talking with someone of a similar experience or identity
Relationships with friends, partners, and family
Finding resources and supports on and offline
Having someone check up on you if you live alone
What should I expect from the Peer Support Program?
Once you are connected to a Peer Support Volunteer:
The Peer Support Volunteer will respond to your request for support using your preferred contact method (phone or video chat).
They’ll start with a brief bit of information about the program and confidentiality.
You'll be asked a few questions about the situation or challenges that you are seeking support for.
Peer Support Volunteers will provide a listening ear, encouragement, affirmation, and - with permission - additional resources as needed.
Each session lasts up to 45 minutes.
When can I access this program?
The program will begin Monday, May 11, 2020
The program will not run on statutory holidays in 2020: May 18th, July 1st, August 3rd, September 7th, October 12th, December 25th.
In what languages is the program available?
Most of our Peer Support Volunteers communicate fluently in English or French. Some volunteers speak other languages that include Arabic, Dutch, and Italian.
Who are the Peer Support Volunteers?
The Peer Support Volunteers are guys into guys with various lived experiences just like you! They’ll offer support rooted in active listening and affirmation, and strength-based and anti-oppressive values.
Learn more about them by visiting the Peer Support Volunteer Profiles on our booking platform. It may be possible to be paired with someone whose lived experience may make you feel more comfortable.
How do I schedule an appointment?
Our Peer Support Program is drop-in based when folks call during Peer Support line hours of service. You don’t need to make an appointment. If you prefer to schedule an appointment, you can do so by:
Using our appointment booking platform and completing the contact form.
Calling and leaving a message at 613-701-6555. Please leave your name, pronouns, and a call back number. A Peer Support Volunteer will contact you. Please note, the call will come from a MAX Ottawa office number or as an “unknown number”.
Emailing our Peer Support team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please list your name, pronouns, and preferred contact method (phone or video chat). An email confirming the approximate time will be sent.
What if all Peer Support volunteers are busy during hours of service?
We do our very best to have enough Peer Support volunteers available during operating hours in order to answer calls. We’re in the process of training more volunteers to increase our capacity. If an operator is not available when you call, please call again or leave a message. Your call is important to us, and we will respond as quickly as we can.
Who do I contact for more information?
Griffin Taylor, Support Coordinator & Group Facilitator
As stated, our Peer Support program does not offer crisis intervention.
For life-threatening emergencies, it’s best to call 911.
If you are experiencing mental health distress, you can reach the Distress Centre at 613-238-3311 (English only) or the Crisis Line (English & French) at 613-722-6914 or toll-free 1-866-996-0991.
MAX takes your right to confidentiality seriously. Employees and volunteers follow strict confidentiality requirements. We keep your contact information in a secure virtual folder only accessible to staff and volunteers who run this program.
There are certain situations where MAX might have to break confidentiality. Confidentiality may need to be broken when the rights of others, particularly the rights of a child or dependent adult, are in need of protection and in cases where maintenance of confidentiality may cause serious harm to the client or to a third party. Reporting occurs where the Peer Support Volunteer or employee is required by mandatory reporting law, as follows:
A direct threat to harm yourself
A direct threat to harm another person
Abuse or neglect of a child (16 years old or younger) or vulnerable adult
MAX is required by law, such as a court-issued subpoena
For more information, or if you have specific concerns or questions, contact the following MAX staff who are responsible for this program: