At Occutrauma we know that weekly ongoing Peer Support can significantly aid in the reduction of Occupational Stress Injury, greatly reduce the risk of an Occupational Stress Injury recurring and peer support group members are more likely to recognize signs and symptoms in their colleagues sooner.
The goal of our peer support program is to make entrance into support services easier and to identify early those who need treatment services. Recent research has indicated that 1 in 2 (or 50%) of Uniformed Personnel and First Responders require support services.
What is Peer Support
Peer Support is a non-judgmental, safe and supportive relationship between people who have a common lived experience. Every organization of frontline responders and service providers has potential peer supporters within their location or in their lives. A trusted peer who sincerely cares and who has experienced a similar event or trauma can be of the greatest support for struggling colleagues.
However, not everyone in the organization is suited to be a peer supporter. More than a good ear and a caring heart is needed when supporting colleagues in distress. Untrained and unskilled peer supporters may cross into areas where their colleague is not yet ready to go and cause even more harm, or they may unintentionally activate triggers that can make matters worse. Peer supporters without the training or support of professionals may add significant stress to their own lives amplifying their own distress.
Occutrauma Peer Support
Peer support facilitated by an Occupationally Aware Clinician ensures the best outcomes and safety for all participants. Occutrauma’s Peer Support Program offers highly-experienced Occupationally Aware Clinicians paired with trained peer support members to facilitate our weekly peer support groups. Our Clinicians co-facilitate by providing clinical information such as risk factors, safety education, signs and symptoms education and other supports to aid peer support members.
As with all our programming, Peer Support groups are Profession Specific. For example, Military will only sit with Military. Another distinction we offer for Military is Active versus Veterans. We have specific peer support groups for Veterans who have served in combat.
As a not-for-profit organization we offer the following with no charge to anyone ever:
Space availability is limited to the Edmonton area. We will post new locations on our website as they develop.
We are currently looking to train Peer Support Group Leads for the populations we serve.